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Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C.4 


■ Geoffrey Cumbevlege, Publisher to the U niversity 


Reprinted photograpViically in Great Britain 
in 1941, 1948, 1953 


from sheets of the first edition 





Of the Inner Temple, BArrister-at-Law, and Advocate 
Regius Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology 
and Lecturer on the Constitution of the British Empire in 
the University of Edinburgh 


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wr.r-T 1 

CAL^jr' A 

S. 10. 




Printed in Great Britain 




T aken in conjunction with my Sanskrit Drajna, published 
in 1924, this work covers the field of Classical Sanskrit 
Literature, as opposed to the Vedic Literature, the epics, and the 
Puranas. To bring the subject-matter within the limits of a single 
volume has rendered it necessary to treat the scientific literature 
briefly, and to avoid discussions of its subject-matter which 
appertain rather to the historian of grammar, philosophy, law, 
medicine, astronomy, or mathematics, than to the literary his- 
torian. This mode of treatment has rendered it possible, for the 
first time in any treatise in English on Sanskrit Literature, to 
pay due attention to the literary qualities of the Kavya. Though 
it was to Englishmen, such as Sir William Jones and H. T. Cole- 
brooke, that our earliest knowledge of Sanskrit poetry was due, 
no English poet shared Goethe’s marvellous appreciation of the 
merits of works known to him only through the distorting medium 
of translations, and attention in England has usually been limited 
to the Vedic literature, as a source for comparative philology, 
the history of religion, or Indo-European antiquities ; to the 
mysticism and monism of Sanskrit philosophy ; and to the fables 
and fairy-tales in their relations to western parallels. 

The neglect of Sanskrit Kavya is doubtless natural. The great 
poets of India wrote for audiences of experts ; they were masters 
of the learning of their day, long trained in the use of language, 
and they aim to please by subtlety, not simplicity of effect. 
They had at their disposal a singularly beautiful speech, and they 
commanded elaborate and most effective metres. Under these 
circumstances it was inevitable that their works should be diffi- 
cult, but of those who on that score pass them by it may fairly 
be said ardna diim f^ietuunt ainittunt vera viai. It is in the great 
writers of Kavya alone, headed by Kalidasa, that we find depth 
of feeling for life and nature matched with perfection of expres- 
sion and rhythm. The Kavya literature includes some of the 
great poetry of the world, but it can never expect to attain wide 
popularity in the West, for it is essentially untranslatable ; 



German poets like Riickert can, indeed* base excellent work on 
Sanskrit originals, but the effects produced are achieved by 
wholly different means, while English efforts at verse transla- 
tions fall invariably below a tolerable mediocrity, their diffuse 
tepidity contrasting painfully with the brilliant condensation of 
style, the elegance of metre, and the close adaptation of sound to 
sense of the originals. I have, therefore, as in my Sanskrit 
Drama, illustrated the merits of the poets by Sanskrit extracts, 
adding merely a literal English version, in which no note is taken 
of variations of text or renderings. To save space 1 have in the 
main dealt only with works earlier than A. D. 1200, though 
especially in the case of the scientific literature important books 
of later date are briefly noticed. 

This book was sent in, completed for the press, in January 
1926, but pressure of work at the University Press precluded 
printing until the summer of 1927, when it was deemed best, in 
order not to delay progress, to assign to this preface the notice of 
such new discoveries and theories of 1926 and 1927 as might 
have permanent interest. 

On the early development of the Kavya welcome light has 
been thrown by Professor H. Luders^s edition ^ of the fragments 
found in Central Asia of the Kalpandmandiiikd of Kumaralata, 
which is the true description of the work hitherto known to us 
through a Chinese translation as the Sutrdlamkdraoi A9vaghosa. 
That work, it is suggested, was very different in character from 
Kumaralata’s. It may have been an exposition in verse, possibly 
with prose additions, of the Canon of the Sarvastivadins, and it 
may be represented by fragments still extant ; this suggestion 
can be supported by Asanga^s choice of title, Mahdydnasuird- 
lamkdra, for his exposition of Mahayana tenets. But that is still 
merely a conjecture, and even less proved is the view that 
Subandhu’s famous allusion ^ Bauddhasamgatim ivdlanikdrabhu- 
sitdm is to such a text as that ascribed to i^9vaghosa. Kumara- 
lata may well have been a younger contemporary of A9vaghosa, 
who lived after the death of Kaniska, a fact which explains an 
old crux, the difficulty of ascribing to A9vaghosa the references 

' Bruchsiiicke der Kalpandman 4 itikd des ICumdraldia, Leipzig, 1926. 

* Below, p. 308. L^vi {Sutrdlamkdra, ii. 15 f.) reads samgiiim very plausibly, and 
holds thal a work of Asanga is meant. 


in the Sutralamkdra which seeiiied inconsistent with the tradi- 
tional relation of the patriarch and that king. How the Chinese 
version of the K alpandmanditikd y ‘ that which is adorned by 
poetic invention , came to bear the style Sutralamkdra^ remains 
an unexplained problem. 

The fragments shed a very interesting light on the develop- 
ment of the style of prose mingled with verses which appears in 
a more elaborate form in the ydtakamdld. The narratives, eighty 
in number, which, with ten parables, make up the work, begin 
with the enunciation of some doctrine, which is then established 
by means of an appropriate narrative ; unlike the ydtakamdld^ 
the text does not follow a stereotyped plan of drawing out at the 
close of each tale the moral which it inculcates. The stanzas 
used are normally portions of the speeches of the dramatis 
personae; there is a complete breach with the tradition of the 
canonical texts which introduce such verses by the term b/idsdm 
bhdsate ; but of course this does not mean that Kuniaralata, or 
Arya (JOra who follows this plan in the ydtakamdldy is the author 
of all the verses used ; doubtless he often adopts or adapts 
current maxims. Narrative^ or descriptive stanzas are rare, and 
they are marked out for the benefit of the reciter by the words 
vaksyate hi, Arya ^ura, on the other hand, shows a distinct 
advance ; he uses descriptive or narrative stanzas to the extent 
of over a fifth of his total number of verses, and omits any intro- 
duction, inserting them freely to beautify his prose narration. 
The parables take a different form : in them a prose parable 
(drstdnta) is simply followed by a prose exposition {artha). The 
language shows the same adherence to correct Sanskrit, with 
occasional lapses, as in A9vaghosa, and there is a rich variety of 
metres, including the earliest Aryas in Kavya so far datable 
with reasonable certainty ; the Qloka, Upajati, Vasantatilaka, 
and Qardulavikridita are affected. Very important is the fact 
that Prakrit lyric written in the Prakrit of the grammarians 
(Middle Prakrit) is preluded in two Prakrit Aryas, written in 
Old Qaurasenl, which already manifest that affection for long 
compounds which is carried to excess in the GaUdavaha, 

^ Cf. below, pp. 244, 256, 332. The evidence of slow development of use of 
narrative stanzas is clear. For the priority of Arya Qura to the Vessantara Jdtaka, 
see R. Kick, Festgabe Jacobi ^ pp. 145-59. 



Kalidasa has suffered from attempts ^ to defy style by placing 
him before A9vaghosa, and to ignore^ the use of his works in 
Vatsabhatti by ascribing him to the period 525-75, when no 
great Empire existed, on the strength of his picture of India in 
the Raghuvahfa. Much more ingenious is an effort ^ to fix his 
home in Kashmir, and to trace in his poetry an adumbration of 
the Pratyabhijna9astra of that land, with its doctrine of recogni- 
tion of the unity of the divine love. Kalidasa would thus be 
a master of suggestion, which later was definitely developed in 
Kashmir as the essence of poetry by the Dhvanikara, who was 
doubtless not Anandavardhana. Use by Kalidasa of the Padma 
Pur ana has been suggested but is not plausible. His possible 
relation to the Vakatakas has been investigated, and use has 
been made of Ksemendra's ascription to him of a Kuntegvara- 
dautya^ but all is mere hypothesis.^ 

Discussion of the migration of fables and other literature has 
failed to achieve decisive results. Some stress has lately been 
laid on the evidence of connexions between Egypt and India 
contained in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri^^ but it is difficult to believe 
seriously that Isis was worshipped in India as Maia,^ as asserted 
with complete vagueness in the Isis litany,^ and Professor 
Hultzsch’s effort® to find Kanarese explanations for certain 
terms in the farce regarding Charition’s adventures on the coast 
of a country bordering the Indian Ocean, are as little plausible as 
those of Sir G. Grierson to discover Sanskrit. It seems prima 
facie absurd to suppose that any Greek farce writer would trouble 
to embody passages in foreign speeches which would be utterly 
unintelligible to his audience.® 

' Kshetre^achandra Chattopadhyaya, Allahabad ii. 8o ff. ; K.G. 6an- 

kar, IHQ. i. 309 ff. But contrast IlIQ. ii. 660 for A9vaghosa’s influence on Kalidasa^s 

* D. R. Bhandarkar, A HI. viii. 202-4. 

* I.achhmi Dhar Kalla, Delhi University Publications, no. i. 

< See POCM. 1924, p. 6. 

* In ii. no. 300 a woman Indike appears. 

® xi. no. 13S0. That Maya is meant is not probable. 

^ iib no. 413. 8 JRAS. 1904, pp. 399 ff. 

® Pischel’s view that mixture of language is Indian specifically is disproved by 
Reich, DLZ. 1915, p. 591. India was known in Egypt, but there is not the slightest 
ground to believe that any one knew Kanarese or Sanskrit well enough to reproduce 
either of them in a faice. 


It is indeed probable that no assured results can be expected 
regarding borrowing of tales; Sir Richard Templets ingenious 
suggestions^ as to non-Aryan origins of certain motifs, with 
which may be compared those of Professor Przyluski^ regarding 
the influence of Austro-Asiatic peoples on early Indian thought 
and speech, are inconclusive, nor is it clear that, as Dr. Caster '^ 
inclines to hold, we owe to India the ideas of fallen angels, genii 
who leturn to earth, or legends of asceticism carried to ludicrous 
extremes. Dr. Caster, however, rightly stresses the impossibility 
of assuming that India gave only and did not borrow, and insists 
on the importance of investigating the possibility of a literary 
oiigin for many fairy talcs current among the people. Moreover, 
paiallelism should often, it appears to me, be admitted in literary 
development. It is instructive, for instance, to compare the 
scheme of development of the practice of emboxing tales within 
tales given below (p. 320) for India with that suggested by 
Schisscl von Fleschenbcrg ^ for Greek literature : the simple tale 
passes through stages illustrated by the Milcsiaka of Aristeides, 
the work of Antonius Diogenes, the Golden Ass of Apulcius,and 
the romance of Petronius, to the complete outcome in later 
romance. The many motifs found in the K athasaritsagara, for 
which parallels are adduced by the learned editor^ of a new 
edition of Tawncy’s excellent version from western literature, 
suggest likewise that much may be said for the doctrine of 

On ^ivadasa's version of the Vctdlapancavih^atikd much light 
has been thrown by Hertcl’s researches.® He establishes that 
^ivadasa used a version in verse, whence some stanzas of merit, 
including those cited below (p. 290), are taken ; the many verse 
fragments found in his prose are explained by the origin of 
his work. Similar features are not rare in late texts, such as 

‘ Ocean of Story y i. pp. xi^ flf. 

* For other possibilities (Sumerian connexions) cf. Przyluski, BSL. xxvii. 218-29. 

* Ocean of Story, iii, pp. ix fT. 

^ Entwicketungsgeschichte des griechiseken Romans im Altertum, and Die gnech- 
tsche Novelle\ cf. Reich, DLZ. 1915, pp. 543 f. For the parallel development of the 
Helen and Sita legends, see Print?, Festgabe Jacobi, pp. 103 ff. 

® N. M. Penzer, Ocean oj Story, ten vols., i92.^-8. For elaborate notes on motifs 
see references in Indexes in each volume. 

® Streitberg Festgabe, pp. 135 IT. He places him not much before A. d. 1487. 


Meghavijaya’s Pahcakhydnoddhdra, the iextus simplicior of the 
gukasapiati, the Madanarekhakathd, the Ktistimasdrakathd, 
the Aghaiakumdrakathd} and that version of the Vetdlapancavih- 
fatikd which goes back to Ksemendra’s verse rendering. This, 
however, does not decide the question of the original form of the 
Vetdlapancavm(aiikd \ the common source of Ksemendra and 
Somadeva may have been in prose or prose and verse ; we have 
not sufficient evidence to show which. Hertel proves by com- 
parison of texts that Qivadasa was deeply influenced in vocabu- 
lary and syntax by Old Gujarati, and concludes that he was 
a man of small education, belonging to the class who did not use 
Sanskrit as their * Hochsprache but understood it taut bien que 
mal^ and endeavoured to express themselves in it. 

The question of the authenticity of the dramas ascribed to 
Bhasa by the late T. Ganapati Qastri has been frequently dis- 
cussed since my Sanskrit Drama appeared, but without results of 
value, largely because the true issues have been misunderstood 
and effort has been devoted to proof of the obvious. It is true 
that it is not a matter of much importance whether the dramas 
be ascribed to Bhasa or to an unknown poet, but it is important 
to consider whether (i) they are all by one hand, and (a) by 
a writer earlier than Kalidasa and the Mrcchakatikd. Both these 
propositions seem to me clearly established, for, though some 
Indian and, less excusably, some European ^ scholars still seem 
not to have weighed the evidence adduced by Dr. Morgenstierne, 
the English protagonist against T. Ganapati (Jastri’s theory 
recognizes that the Cdrudatta must be placed before the Mrccha- 
katikd, Priority to Kalidasa seems established by evidence of 
use by that poet, and of greater antiquity in technique, style, 
diction, metre, and forms of Prakrit ; it is significant that Kali- 
dasa has Maharas^ri, unknown to Bhasa. Moreover, it is perfectly 
clear that Bhasa's Prakrits, as revealed by the manuscripts of his 
plays, occupy a position intermediate between the Prakrits of 
Afvaghosa and of Kalidasa as shown by European critical ^ 
editions. It is no reply to this fact to point out that manuscripts 

* Trans. Ch. Krause, Ind. Erz., iv. 

* Nobel, ZII. V. 141 f. He sets Qudraka and the Mrcchakatikd before Kalidasa. 

* Indian editions, e. g. that of the Afcaryacfutdmaniy have not even the value of 
a MS. in this connexion. 



of Kalidasas works of similar provenance to those of Bhasa’s 
dramas show Prakrit forms similar to those of Bhasa's plays, for 
the obviously correct explanation is that Kalidasa’s works in 
these southern manuscripts have been affected by the usage of 
Bhas^. It is clear that quite late dramas use forms of the 
Prakrits of Bhasa, doubtless as a result of his great influence, 
just as the dramas recently published from southern manuscripts 
show frequent signs of borrowing of ideas and style from Bhasa, 
as in the case of the Ddntakaprahasana absurdly ascribed to him,^ 
Moreover, it must be noted that the most searching criticism has 
failed yet to find any proof of borrowing by Bhasa from Kalidasa, 
or references to matters later than that poet. The effort to turn 
the term rdjasinkak — a mere variant of rdjd — into a proper name 
has found no general acceptance, and the identification of the 
Nydya^dstra of Medhatithi, mentioned in the Pratimdndtakay 
with Medhatithi’s commentary on Manu is clearly due to forget- 
fulness that Medhatithi is obviously Gautama, the famous author 
of the Nydya Sutra. Unity of authorship is proved by style, 
a consideration which unfortunately seems often to be ignored, as 
when, for instance, it seems seriously to be suggested ^ that the 
author of the Afcaryacuddntani^ ^aktibhadra, who obviously 
imitated Bhasa, might be the author of the works. This evinces 
the same curious lack of discrimination which ascribes to Dandin 
the Avantisimdarlkathd, credits Bana with the Pdrvatlparinayay 
and would rob Kalidasa of the Rtusamhdra, 

The ascription of these old plays specifically to Bhasa rests 
primarily on the testimony of Raja^ekhara, doubtless the critic 
and dramatist of c. A.D. 900, who tells us that the Svapnavdsa- 
vadatta of Bhasa survived exposure to the fire of criticism, when 
his dramas were exposed to that ordeal by experts. It would 
indeed be a curious coincidence if an unknown dramatist had 
written like Bhasa a number of dramas, of which the Svapnavd- 
savadattd stands out>in the judgement of many critics as unques- 

' Sec Jolly’s disproof, Festgabe GarbCy pp. 1 15-21. 

* Sec Keith, BSOS. iii. 623-5. ^ like lapse has converted the Priyadar^kd into 
the Ratndvali (JRAS. 1937, p. 863, n. i) and fonnd the Odras in the TaiUit^ya 
Araptyaka in lieu of the Trikdn 4 af€saj ii. i. ii {Cambridge Hist, of India^ \.(iO\). 
Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus ! 

* MASI. xxviii. 10; IHQ. iii. 222. 

^ Of uncertain, but not early date, and of modest literary value. 



tionably the finest, and in any case is so admirable that it may 
easily have won general acceptance in Raja^ekhara’s circle as the 
finest of the works. Add to this the facts that Kalidasa himself, 
who seems from internal evidence to have sought to vie with 
these dramas, recognizes ruefully the great difficulty a young poet 
must have in contending with Bhasa, and that the author of these 
works is assuredly a greater dramatist than any other Sanskrit 
writer than Kalidasa, and Raja9ekhara*s testimony is strongly 
confirmed. Again, from the vast mass of confused conjecture on 
the mode of beginning dramas, the fact emerges that Bana's 
reference to BhaSa’s dramas as introduced by the Sutradhara 
corresponds precisely with the manner of introducing these 
dramas, and, when all is said and done, is most simply and 
naturally explained by the obvious view that he is referring to 

One argument against the validity of Raja9ckhara*s evidence 
should be noted. It is claimed ’ that in the context of the 
passage Raja9ekhara ascribes the authorship of the Priyadar^ikd, 
Ratndvally and Ndgananda to Bhasa and, therefore, must be 
untrustworthy. It is deplorable that this argument should ever 
have been adduced ; the alleged context is plainly and indubit- 
ably a recent forgery,^ and it would be idle to attach any value 
to other arguments adduced by a critic who has not the capacity 
to avoid being deceived, and unfortunately deceiving others, by 
such evidence. It must, however, be admitted that the forgery 
is so gross and palpable that it was presumably never intended to 
be taken seriously, and other Indian scholars have been prompt 
to repudiate it. 

The ascription suggested by the evidence given above has 
recently been confirmed in the most gratifying manner by the 
discovery of fresh references in works on poetics and dramaturgy, 
inaccessible in Europe. The ^rhgdraprakdga of Bhoja in the 
eleventh century a.d. attests the currency c^f a drama in essentials 
as regards substance in accord with Act V of the Svapnavdsava- 

' K. R. Pisharoti, IHQ. i. 105. The same writer makes an error of six centuries in 
Kiila9ekhara’s date, and numerous other serious blunders, in which others liave 
followed him, including a complete failure to understand the issues as to Prakrit. 

* K. G. Seslia Aiyar, IHQ. i. 361 ; G. Harihar Sastri, 370-8. Dr. Sukthan- 
kar’s acceptance of this foolish and obvious forgery is regrettably uncritical, as is his 
following of Mr. Pisharoti as to the Prakrits. 


dattd\ the Bkdvaprakdga of ^aradatanaya (13th century), knew 
a work not merely very similar in structure, but actually con- 
taining a verse found in the Trivandrum text. Sagaranandin in 
the Ndtakalaksanaratnakoga ascribes to the Svapnavdsavadattd 
a passage which undoubtedly, as T. Ganapati gastri shows, is 
a paraphrase of a passage at the beginning of our text, not a 
citation from a variant text as Professor L^vi suggested.' I 
agree also with T. Ganapati Qastri that the passage cited by 
Ramacandra and Gunacandra in the Natyadarpana from Bhasa s 
Svapnavdsavadattd could easily have found a place in our text, 
while in any event it is clear that that play contained a scene 
parallel with one in our play. The most that can be made out 
from these facts against the ascription to Bhasa is simply that 
there were probably varying recensions of the plays. That, of 
course, may be taken for granted ; it was the fate of every much- 
studied and used play, and we have it exemplified to perfection 
in the case of Kalidasa,^ the variations regarding whose works 
seem to have been unknown to or forgotten by those who refuse 
to recognize J^hasa’s authorship of these dramas. There is no 
evidence at all to show that any of the versions of the ^aktmtald 
can be credited with any greater fidelity to the original of Kali- 
dasa than is possessed by the Trivandrum Svapnavdsavadattd in 
relation to Bhasa’s original. Moreover, it seems too often to be 
forgotten that variants may be due to the dramatist himself, who 
can hardly be supposed to have given his dramas a single perfectly 
definite text. It is, of course, tempting to adopt with Hermann 
Weller ^ the belief that the actors of Kerala have the responsi- 
bility for mangling our texts, and to accept the view that Bhasa 
is preserved to us in a deteriorated form, and that, for example, 
the Pratijhayangandhardyana and the Svapnavdsavadattd made 
up a single piece. But I am satisfied that to accept this view is 
uncritical and is to substitute our preferences for reality ; the 
pedestrian character of some of Bhasa's stanzas can far better be 
explained by the simple fact of his early date ; Kalidasa exhibits 
the influence of increased refinement of style in his dramas, just 

* JA. cciii. 193 ff., followed in the very uncritical MASI. xxviii. 1 1. 

* Cf. also the recensions of the Uitarardmacarita, Belvalkar, JAOS. xxxiv. 428 ff. 

* Trans, oi Svapnavdsavadaltdt p. 8. The same th#»ory applies, of course, to the 



as in his epics he normally avoids the pedestrian traits which are 
easily to be found in the epics of his forerunner A9vaghosa. The 
dramatic defects of Bhasa need not be ascribed to actors, for 
Kalidasa himself in any version of even the ^akimtald is far from 
perfect, and Shakespeare’s flaws are notorious. On the other 
hand, we owe a very considerable debt to Hermann Weller ^ for 
showing in detail, with true insight into the nature of Bhasa’s 
poetic talent,^ that six of the stanzas which by the anthologies 
are attributed to Bhasa bear remarkable resemblance to the style 
ot stanzas in our dramas. We may dismiss as far-fetched the 
suggestion that the makers of anthologies ascribed them to him 
because they felt in them the spirit of his poetry ; it is common 
sense to assume that the ascriptions are correct, and. that they add 
one more link to the chain of evidence which ascribes the dramas 
to Bhasa, and vindicates the suggestion of a great Indian scholar. 

The effort^ to strengthen the case for dating Dandin later 
than Bhamaha by using the evidence of the Avantisundarikatkd 
and its Sdra is clearly a complete mistake. The Katha should 
never have been published from one mutilated manuscript, whose 
readings, even if correctly stated, have already been proved wrong 
by other manuscript evidence.^ Even, however, from the muti- 
lated text it was clear that Bharavi was not made out to be the 
great-grandfather of Dandin, who is given as Damodara. But, 
as Dr. D^ ® has pointed out, even the most careless reader of the 
Katha and the Da^akumdracariia should have been struck by 
the extraordinary difference of style between the two works, the 
Katha rivalling unsuccessfully the worst mannerisms of the Har- 
sacarita and the KddambarL If a Dandin wrote the work, he was 
assuredly not the author of the Dagakumdracarita, and its date 
may be centuries later than the great Dandin, for there is no 
reason to accept the suggestion ® that the writer of the Katha 
lived sufficiently soon after the famous Dandin to be familiar 

‘ Festgabe Jacobi^ pp. 114-25. 

* Cf. Garbe's emphatic testimony, Festgabe Jacobi^ p. 126, in contrast with ZII. ii 
250; ABA. viii. 17 ff. 

3 J. Nobel, ZII. V. 136-52. 

* G. Harihar Sastri, IHQ. iii. 169-71. 

* IHQ. iii. 395 ff. As Dandin wrote according to Bhoja’s Qriigdraprakdfa (BSOS. 
iii. 282) a Dvisamdhdnakdvyat this may be his third work (cf. below, p. 396), 

* Ibid.f p. 403. 



with his genealogy and to work it into his story. It may be 
added that the effort^ to find in v, 17 of the Katha an allusion to 
kdvyatraya of Kalidasa, thus confirming the denial to him of the 
Rtusamhdra, is wholly impossible and has not even the authority 
of the editor. It is very difficult to say whether we can derive 
from the Katha any assurance as to Bharavi's connexion with 
Visnuvardhana or identify the latter with the prince who became 
Eastern Calukya king in A.d. 615 and was the brother of that 
Pulake^in, whose Aihole inscription (a.d. 634) mentions Bharavi’s 
fame, but at least there is no flagrant anachronism, though we 
know already of one literary forgery^ which ascribes to Durvi- 
mta of Kongani a commentary on Ktrdtdrjunlya xv. 

Of Abhinavagupta's important commentary on the Ndtya 
^dstra we have now the beginning of an edition, which, un- 
happily, is fundamentally uncritical,^ while a new effort ^ has been 
made to aSsSign their precise shares in the Kdvyaprakdga to its 
two authors, but without any convincing result ; in cases of this 
sort it is probably hopeless a priori to expect to find any conclu- 
sive evidence ; an editor who has to fill out lacunae is certain to 
adapt the whole more or less to his own style and to render 
restoration of the original and his additions almost impossible.^ 

The curious scepticism which has marked the attitude of 
Indian and some European scholars towards Bhasa has not been 
shown in recent work on the Kautiliya Artha^dstra,, on which 
I have written in the Patna memorial volume in honour of that 
great Indian, Sir Asutosh Mookerjee. The only ground of this 
differentiation of treatment appears to be the sanctity ascribed 
to the written word : because the work in an obviously later 
appended verse assures us it was written by Visnugupta, i. e. Kau- 
tilya — the reading Kautalya is clearly^ of no value— therefore it 

1 ZII. V. 143. 

* Ep. Cam,, iii. 107. It is noteworthy that a Durvinltn appears m the Katha. 

* Gaekwad Oriental Series 36, 1926 (i-vii) ; cf. S. K. D6, IHQ. lii. 859-68. 

^ H. R. Divekar, JRAS."^ 1927, pp. 505-ao ; he assigns all the commentary to 
Alata as well as the Karikas from that on Parikara. 

* The effort of Dr. to ascribe Vallabhadeva’s Subhdsitavali to the 12th cent, has 
been discussed in a note to appear in BSOS. iv. (1928). As regards Kaviraja’s date 
(below, p. 137), Achyutacharan Chaudhnri ascribes him to the iith cent, as prot^g^ of 
a king Kamadeva of Jaintia ; see IHQ. iii. 848 f. 

® Cf. P. V. Kane, ABI. vii. 89 ; Jolly, ZII. v. 216-21. BhandarkaCs theory 
(ABI. vii. 65-84) of a verse original known to Dan^in is incapable of demonstration, 

3149 b 



must be so, although it seems patently absurd that the minister 
of an Emperor should confine his work to a moderate-sized 
kingdom, and should not once by word or allusion betray the 
name of the country for which and in which he was writing. 
Nevertheless there is nothing too fantastic to find defenders, 
though it is difficult not to feel that it is a very misplaced 
patriotism which asks us to admire the Arthagdstra as repre- 
senting the fine flower of Indian political thought. It would, 
indeed, be melancholy if this were the best that India could 
show as against the Republic of Plato or the Politics of Aristotle, 
or even the common-sense and worldly wisdom of the author oi 
the tract on the constitution of Athens, formerly ascribed falsely 
to Xenophon. Certainly fantastic is the elaborate theory worked 
out by J. J. Meyer in his translation, and in his treatise Uber das 
Wesen der indischen Rechtsschriften und ihr Verhdltnis zti 
einander und zu Kautilya (19017). These works, produced in 
great difficulties, contain, amid much that is unsound and despite 
disconcerting changes of view, valuable contributions to our under- 
standing of Kautilya, and throw light on many of the obscure 
sides of Indian life. But the main thesis of the author, who 
seeks to distinguish two sharply severed streams of literature, 
the one Brahmanical, essentially concerned with magic, the other 
of the people, practical and legal, is clearly based on a false 
foundation. The effort to regard the Brahmins as something 
apart in Indian life is one of those delusions which may find 
sympathy in the non- Brahmanical classes in India and in 
Europe, but which run counter to all that we know of Indian 
thought, which owes its life and strength to the Brahmins, not to 
warriors or rulers, still less to the commonalty. The efforts of 
the author^ to establish that the Artha^dstra was used by 
Ydjnavalkya are certainly without weight ; the evidence tends 
far more to show that the borrowing was the other way. Not 
a single passage referred to really favours the priority of the 
Arthagdstra, but in several passages the obscurities of the 

W. Ruben’s defence of Jacobi’s date {Festgabe Jacobi^ pp. 346 flf.) is ineffective. For 
Kalidasa’s relation to the Artha^dstra, cf. K. Balaaubrahmanya Ayyar, POCM. 1924, 
pp. a~i6. 

* pp. 6a, 69, 70, 71, 77, lat, 130, 133, 158-79, 179-90, 213, 216, 284, 290, 294, 299, 



Arthagdstra can be readily understood by realizing that it was 
drawing from Ydjhavalkya. Nor does Meyer attempt systemati- 
cally^ to prove that Manu is later than the Arthagdstra, though 
on his theory of dates that text is more than a hundred years at 
least posterior to the Arthafdsira. He has been as unable as 
the Indian supporters of Canakyas^ authorship to explain the 
silence which the Arthafdstra observes regarding everything 
imperial and its absolute ignoring of the facts as to Pataliputra. 
His further effort^ to prove the late date of the Gautama 
Dharmagdstra is in itself less open to objection, but his con- 
tentions are largely inconclusive ^ and do little more than prove, 
what has always been admitted, that our text of that Dharma- 
9astra has been considerably worked over. The main principles 
of the development of the legal literature remain as they were 
formulated by Max Muller and Biihler, and further established 
by Oldenberg and Jolly. Indeed, Meyer s own view at present ® — 
his conclusions lack admittedly any great fixity — is that Ban- 
dhdyana and Apastamba are pre-Buddhist, Vdsistka belongs to 
the fourth century B. c., and Manu may be ascribed rather nearer 
to 200 B. C. than to A. D. 200 ; there is, however, no tolerable 
proof of Vdsistha!s posteriority to Apastamba^ still less that 
Apastamba is pre-Buddhist in date. Still less convincing again 
are Meyer’s efforts® to assign Ndrada to a period anterior to 
Manu and Ydjnavalkya ; if we take our present texts as the basis 
of argument, this is certainly out of the question ; if we recon- 
struct originals for all three, we lose ourselves in idle conjectures 
which, like all guesses, merely obscure knowledge. For Ydjna-^ 
valkya there may be noted an interesting effort to reconstruct 
the original Smrti on the basis of comparison with parallel texts 
in the Agni and the Garu^a Purdnas. It is very possible that 

^ What is said, e. g. p. f I2, is quite inconclusive; contrast IHQ. iii. 8i j. 

* Jacobi (IHQ. iii. 669-75) holds that Canakya and Visnugupta were distinct 
persons later confused with KAi^Uya. Canikya may be original, not Canakya. 

® See references at pp. 417, 418. 

^ P'or a further argument as to Gautama’s later date, see Bata Krishna Ghosh, 
IHQ. iii. 607-11. 

® Altind, RechtsschrifUn, p. vii. 

• Ibid., pp. 82-114. 

^ Hans Losch, Die YdjUavalkyasmrti (1927). The Garu 4 a has a version of the 
Nidanasthana oi Astdngahrdaya and Astdngasamhitd\ Festgabe Garbe^ pp. 102 ff. 

3149 b 2 



the parts of the text dealing with Rajadharma and Vyavahara 
have been amalgamated with a text dealing with the topics of 
the Grhyasutras ; but it is very dubious if it is possible to recover 
the original form of the Smrti. It is, of course, easy to eliminate 
certain obviously late passages, such as those dealing with the 
Vinayaka- and Graha-^anti and the anatomical matter in Book iii, 
but the more radical analysis suggested is far less satisfactorily 
made out. 

Of auxiliary sciences architecture has at last received expert 
treatment from Professor Prasanna Kumar Acharya in his 
Dictionary of Hindu Architecture and Indian Architecture} based 
on a new text and rendering of the Mdnasdra^ for which the 
period of A, D. 500-700 is suggested. Striking similarities between 
the prescriptions of the Mdnasdra and Vitruvius are unquestion- 
ably established. Unhappily, the deplorable condition of the 
text of the Samardhganasutradhdra'^ of Bhoja adds to the 
difficulty of valuing his remarks on architecture, town-planning, 
engineering, and the construction of remarkable machines, pro- 
bably akin to the mechanical toys of the Middle Ages,^ The 
Principles of Indian ^ilpa ^dstra^ with the text of the Maya- 
idstra^ by Phanindra Nath Bose, is also of value.^ Hawking 
figures in a Qyamika^dstra by Rudradeva. 

On the early development of logic an interesting light has 
been thrown by Professor O. Strauss’s demonstration from the 
Mahdbhdsya ® that Patanjali was well acquainted with the doctrine 
of the causes familiar from the Sdmkhyakdrikd ® why things in 
themselves visible are sometimes not seen, and also had some 
knowledge of the theory of the syllogism — how much, is not 
altogether certain. The evidence, however, is useful as supporting 
the view that our philosophical Sutras are essentially the outcome 
of a long period of development, and, whatever their date as we 
have them, contain doctrines much earlier in point of time. The 
effort to distinguish strata, though energe^cally pursued, leads to 
little that is certain. For instance, while we may readily believe 

' Oxford, 1937 ff. * GOS. 1934-5. 

* Ocean of Story y iii. 56 ff. 

* A text and trans. of a fiV/a (^dstra are in print. 

* Festgabc Garbcy pp. 84-94. See also Prabhat Chandra Chakravarti, IHQ. 

* Verse 7 ; cf. Caraka, Sutrasthana, ix. 8. 



that the Pfirvamhndhsd and the Veddnia Sutras represent a long 
period of working over, it is by no means clear that we can 
deduce' from a remark of so late a writer as Sure9vara that 
Jaimini, the author of the Purvamimdhsd^ also wrote a more 
philosophical Qdrtraka Sutruyth^ first two Sutras of which corre- 
spond with those of the extant Veddnta Sutra, The fact that 
in these two SutraSy Purvamimdnsd and Veddntay references are 
made both to Jaimini and Badarayana is best explained, not by 
assuming a number of Jaiminis and Badarayanas, but simply by 
recognizing that each text represents a long scholastic develop- 
ment and that the use of the names may not represent the views 
of the authors in question any more accurately than do, for 
instance, those of the Christian Fathers or the Scholastics the 
doctrines of Aristotle, or those of the nco-Platonists those of 
Plato. Nothing, of course, conclusive can be adduced against 
the belief in many Jaiminis or Badarayanas, and recourse has 
recently been had to the same device to explain the fact that 
Prabhakara sometimes appears in tradition as later than Kumarila, 
while his work as known to us shows no certain trace of such 
a relation. In this case the suggestion is probably needless. The 
much discussed question of Dignaga^s place in the history of 
Indian logic, in special his relation to Pra9astapada, has been 
furthered by Dr. Randle’s edition of Dignaga’s fragments'*; it 
appears to me that Dignaga’s priority is still the more probable 
view, but this issue, as well as the important contributions to our 
knowledge of Indian philosophy by Professor M. Walleser, Th. 
Stcherbatsky, Louis dc la Vallce Poussin, S. Radhakrishnan, Das 
Gupta, O. Strauss, Masson Oursel, J. W. Hauer, Ryukan Kimura, 
Kokileswar Sastri, Mahendranath Sircar, and others, must be 
reserved for discussion elsewhere. Y. Kanakura ^ has shown that 
the alleged interpolations in ^ankara s Bhasya are known to 
Vacaspati Mi9ra, while the date adopted by me ^ for ^ankara is 
supported by Jinavij^ya’s proof that Haribhadra, whom (Jankara 

' S. K, Belvalkar, Festsabe GarhCy pp. 162-70; Ind, Fhil. Kev.y ii. 1 4 1-54, 
ContrUf Nilakantha Sastri, I A. 1. 172. 

* Stcherbatsky, Festgetbe Jacobiy p, 373. What is said in POCM. 1924, pp. 475 ff , 
523 IT. is inconclusive. 

* The Nydyaprave^a is now published in GOS. 32 (vol. ii). 

* Festgabe Jacobi, pp. 381-5 ; on Anandajhana, cf. p. 383, n. i. 

» IOC. ii. 6 i 3. 



used, falls in the period A. D. 700-770. Mention, however, should 
be made of the controversy which has raged over the authorship 
of the Nydyapravega^ which is ascribed with equal confidence to 
Dignaga ^ and to ^ankarasvamin ^ ; a final judgement is difficult, 
and the matter has been dealt with by me at length in an article 
to appear elsewhere.^ It should also be noted that Professor 
Jacobi ^ has now admitted that the Nydya Sutra knows the 
Vijnanavada system, on the ground that the Sutra in iv. a. 
deals with a Vijnanavada tenet found in the Lahkdvatdra ; I have 
already dealt with this suggestion,® and pointed out that it 
possesses no cogency. Professor Jacobi’s further suggestion that 
Vatsyayana knew Vasubandhu and may be placed ^.400 accords 
with the results adopted by me ® on the score of other evidence. 
He criticizes the well-known attempt of S. C. Vidyabhusana to 
prove that Uddyotakara and Dharmakirti were contemporaries, 
on the ground that (i) Uddyotakara must have flourished 
a generation before Bana since he was known to Subandhu, and 
(a) Dharmakirti cannot have attained literary fame before Hiuen 
Tsang’s stay in India, since he ignores him as an author of 
standing. These arguments are not conclusive, and it is quite 
possible that Subandhu, Bana, Uddyotakara, and Dharmakirti 
were more or less contemporaries; this issue also will be dealt 
with elsewhere. But Professor Jacobi renders it very probable 
that Dignaga, perhaps even Dharmakirti, was known to the well- 
known Maniinikhalai in Tamil.’^ 

On the interesting issue of the effect of Indian philosophy on 
Schopenhauer and of the present importance of that philosophy 
for western thought reference may be made to the Fiinfzehntes 
Jahrbtuh der Schopenhauer-Gesellschafty 1928. An energetic 
polemic against the view of early influence of Indian on Greek 
philosophy has been delivered by Th. Hopfner,® which at least 

^ Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya, IHQ. Hi. 152-60. 

• Tubianski, BulUtin de fAcacUmie de rC/SSR. i926;*pp. 975 ff. 

» IHQ. 1928. < ZII. V. 3051. 

• Indian Logic and Atomism, pp. 23!. 

• Ibid., pp. 27 f. 

’ ZII. V, 305 ; the Hydyapravt^a was used in the Manimekhalai (p. 309). On the 
vexed date of the Qangam literature, cf. K. G. Sankar, JRAS. 1924, pp. 664-7. 

• Orient und griechische Philosophie (1925). For a probably forged reference to 
Apollonius of Tyana in a Sanskrit text, see M. Hiiiyauna, IHQ. ii. 415. 

PREFACE xxiii 

has the merit of showing the precariousness of the assumptions 
of such influence. Part of the argument for Indian influence rests 
on the belief in early dates for the Indian schools of thought, and 
it is clear that there is great difficulty in arriving at definite con- 
clusions on this issue. Thus Professor Das Gupta' places the 
Lahkdvatdra before A9vaghosa, but the text we have seems to 
know the Vijnanavada school and the barbarian inroads of 
c. A. D. 500. Much stress has of late been laid on the Sarhkhya 
philosophy,^ as it is presented in the Samhita of Caraka, but it 
seems to be overlooked that we have not the slightest proof that 
this or any special part of the text is really Caraka's.^ 

Some light has been thrown by the discoveries of manuscripts 
in East Turkestan on the Bheda Samhitd.^ A paper manuscript 
with a fragment of the text, which can be assigned to the ninth 
century A. D., suggests strongly that the text published fiom 
a single Telugu MS. presents a version of the Samhita which has 
suffered alteration, a chapter on raktapitta in the Nidanasthana 
having been replaced by one on kdsa. Another manuscript frag- 
ment, written on leather, from South Turkestan or Northern 
India, dating probably from the end of the second century A. D., 
say a hundred years before the manuscript of the Kalpandmandt- 
tikd and fifty years after the manuscript of A9vaghosa*s plays, is 
of interest, as it preserves a tradition of a doctrine of eight or ten 
rasas as opposed to the six which Caraka and Su9ruta recognize, 
and which are generally accepted in Indian medicine. It is 
possible that we here have a trace of an older medical system, 
which was ultimately superseded by the system of Atreya, on 

which the work of Caraka is based. 

The vexed issue of the indebtedness of Arabia and Europe to 
India for the numerical system has been reconsidered by Sukumar 
Ranjan Das,® who has dealt at length with Dr. Kaye s views. 

' Hist, of Indian Phil.^ \f2S0. 

i. 28of., o 

s Cf. Hoernle, Archwf Gtsch. d. Midizin, i. 30 ff.; JoUy, Munich Catal, p. 48. 
The list of Tantrayuktis in viii is, of course, by Drdhabala, who again used the 
Uttaratantra of Sn9ruta ; Ruben, Festgabe Jacobi^ pp. 354 - 7 * 

4 H. Liiders, Festgabe Garbe, pp. 148 ff.; for the doubtful character of Caraka s 

text, see also pp. 154 f. 

® IHQ. ii. 97-120; iii. 356 - 75 * 
ch. ii. 

See also D. E. Smith, Hist, of Math. ^ vol. ii, 


XX iv 

Some of the evidence adduced is clearly inconclusive. The 
Arihofdstra knows (ii. 7) an elaborate system of keeping accounts, 
but its date cannot be assumed as the fourth century B. c., nor 
does in any case the keeping of accounts imply any definite 
system of the use of numerals similar to that attested for the 
sixth century A. References to boys learning reckoning 
{samkkydna) ^ arc equally inconclusive, and the date of the Lali- 
t avis tar a is very uncertain. But the use of funya in the Chandas- 
sutra of Pingala ^ must be accorded due weight, and the Indian 
hypothesis has gained strength from the new investigations 
accorded to it. But certainty is unattainable, and it may be 
observed that, while the identification of Puli9a with Paulus of 
Alexandria is merely conjectural, it is not sufficient to dispose 
of it by pointing out that Puli9a was an authority on astronomy, 
Paulus on astrology, for we have nothing to show that the latter 
did not deal with astronomy, as would be natural enough in 
a professed astrologer.^ 

On the question of the origin of Sanskrit no conclusive evidence 
has been recently adduced. Professor HertcPs conviction of the 
late date of the Rgveda and of Zoroaster is not likely to secure 
general acceptance, despite its ingenuity,^ nor is a recent and not 
less ingenious effort ® to show that the Aryans lived for a time 
together under strong Mitanni influences and only turned 
definitely east, to break up into Indians and Iranians, after the 
Mitanni dib&cle in the middle of the fourteenth century B. C. 
The deductions drawn from certain terms, and from the similarity 
of (^iva to the Himmcls-und Wettergott of Asia Minor, whose 
name in Mitanni was Tesup, and of Parvati to the Great Mother 
of Asia Minor, Hepa in Mitanni, and from the syllabic Brahmi 
script, are all suggestive, but without probative force. Very 
interesting and worthy of serious consideration in the field of 

’ The Sumeiians {c, ^000 b. c.) and the Egyptians had elaborate systems of account- 
keeping ; sec D. E. Smith, Hist, of Math,., i. 37 flf. ^ 

^ Arthofdsira, i. 5; Lalitavisiara^ x, 15. 

• viii. 29 f.; Weber, IS. viii. 169, 444 IT. It must be noted that this part is not 
probably early, and is not to be assigned to the 2nd cent. B. c. (IHQ. iii. 374). 

^ On the ketus and their induence on men’s fates, see Ballalasena’s Adbhuiasdgara 
(i2th cent.), and J. von Negelein, Fesigabe Jacobi, pp. 440 flf. ; Festgabe Garbe, pp. 47- 


® On Zoroaster’s date cf. Keith, IHQ. iii. 683-9. 

• W. Porzig, ZII. V. 265-80. 



comparative philolc^y are the arguments recently adduced by 
Professor Max Walleser^ to refute the at present accepted theory 
regarding the merger in Sanskrit of the three vowels a e o into a, 
and to show that Sanskrit preserved as late as the seventh 
century A. D. the labio-velar consonants. One point is of special 
interest, as it confirms a view in which I differ from Professor 
Liebich,*the question of the priority of the TatUiriya Prdtifdkhya 
to Panini ; it is made most probable that the distinction between 
d and a as connected with the openness of the former and the 
closed character of the latter vowel was not noted by the Rk or 
TaitHriya Prdtifdkhyas but by the Atharva Prdtifdkhya, the 
Vdjasaneyi Prdtifdkhya, and Panini. Liebich s argument against 
the priority of the Taittirlya Prdtifdkhya to Panini rests merely 
on the identity of certain Sutras in both texts and the use of 
pragraha for pragrhya. The latter appears to give no possible 
indication of relative position in time ; it may be a local variant, 
which accords with other evidence as to the provenance of the 
text ; the former fact is most naturally explained by the certainty 
that Panini’s work embodies much earlier material, which was 
made use of also by the Prati9akhya, unless Panini simply is the 
debtor to the Prati9akhya. 

In an exhaustive analysis of Yaska’s etymologies » Dr. Hannes 
Skold has suggested that certain of the suggested derivations are 
only explicable on the ground that Yaska was familiar with and 
used a Middle Indian (Prakrit) speech. Beside this suggestion 
may be placed the opinion recently expressed by Professor H. 
Luders,* that the language of A9oka’s Chancery was ‘ eine Art 
Hochsprache ’, while the actually spoken speech was much further 
advanced and probably had reached the stage represented in the 
literary Prakrits, though it is candidly admitted that the latter 
point cannot be said yet to have been established. Nor, it may 
be added, are SkOld’s proofs regarding Yaska free from much 
doubt. But the mor 8 important issue is whether the matter is 
really to be viewed in the light suggested, of a contrast between 
actually spoken language and a Hochsprache. It is rather, it 
appears to me, a matter of class speeches ; Yaska spoke Sanskrit 

' ZII. V. 193-202 ; Zur Aussprache des Sanskrit und Tibetischen (1926). 

* Zur Einfidhrung in die indische einheimische Sprachwissenschaft^ ii. 47. 

• The NiruktUy pp. liSff. ^ * 59 * 


much as he wrote it, and the officials of A^oka equally conversed 
in a speech essentially similar to that in which they wrote, while 
contemporaneously lower classes of the population spoke in 
dialects which were far further advanced in phonetic change. It 
is clear that the Aryan invaders succeeded in imposing their 
speech on many of the earlier inhabitants of the country, and 
there is no cogent argument to refute the natural belief that 
strange Prakritic forms, such as we find sporadically even in the 
Rgveda, when not mere later corruptions are often loan-words 
from class dialects with which the speakers of the more con- 
servative form of speech were in contact. The influence of lower 
speech-forms was doubtless of increasing importance, since it 
evoked the elaborate grammatical studies summed up in the 
Astduhydyi, testifying to the anxiety of the priests to preserve 
the Bhasa from corruption, and Patanjali^s insistence' on the 
evils of barbarisms doubtless proves their occurrence. But there 
seems no ground for conceiving of the position as one in which 
the priests used a formal language only in their business, and 
discarded it for a true vernacular in daily life. There seems 
a very fair analogy with the standard English of the higher 
classes of society in this country; the East-end curators true 
vernacular is standard English, though he ought to be able to 
adapt his speech to the comprehension of the dockers if he works 
at a mission, and a landowner’s true vernacular is that which he 
habitually uses in his own circle, not that in which he talks 
familiarly to his farm workers or villagers of the old type, whose 
dialect often is as different from standard English as an old 
Prakrit from Sanskrit. The presence of many Sanskritizcd ver- 
sions of Prakrit terms, to which Zachariae^ has suggested an 
interesting addition in the term protha '^ is a perfectly natural 
phenomenon where higher and lower speeches exist contem- 
poraneously in the same community, apart altogether from the 
further possibilities of speech mixture due to the development 

* So already Katyayana, Varltika 12 on Panini, i, 3. i. Skbld’s effort (lA. Iv. 
181 ff ) to piove Panini older than the Rk Prdti^akhya cannot be accepted, for the 
reasons given by B. Liebich, Zur Einftthrung in die ind, einheim. Sp rachwis sense haft ^ 
ii. 30 f. 

* ZII. V. 228-31. 

* A variant for pant ham in the verse cited (from Bhasya on Panini, i. 4. 56) below, 
p. 46. For the idea cf. Qakuntald^ iv. (cd. Cappeller), p. 48. 

PREFACE xxvii 

of local as well as class dialects. At any rate arguments used to 
deny vernacular character to Sanskrit are quite adequate to prove 
the same hypothesis of standard English, which unquestionably 
is a true vernacular.^ 

Moreover, the fact that Sanskrit was thus regularly used in 
conversation by the upper classes, court circles eventually 
following the example of the Brahmins in this regard, helps to 
explain the constant influence exercised by the higher form of 
speech on the vernaculars which reveals itself inter alia in the 
constant influx of Tatsamas, words whose phonetic state runs 
counter to the tendencies of the vernacular. It is quite impossible 
to explain this phenomenon adequately by the theory of borrowing 
from literature only ; those who adapted the vernaculars for the 
purpose of writing in any form or literary composition were 
doubtless in constant touch with circles in which Sanskrit was 
actually in living use. Doubtless, important changes to the dis- 
advantage of Sanskrit as a spoken language resulted from the 
Mahomedan invasions, which culminated in the substitution of 
a new speech in official use at the courts of Mahomedan rulers, 
but for the period from A.D. 300 up to laoo, dealt with in this 
work, there is little evidence of any fundamental change in the 
“xtent or character of the use of Sanskrit ; the same impression 
is given by the Kdtnasutra^ perhaps c. 400, the Kdvyamtmdhsd 
of Raja9ekhara {c\ 900), and Bilhana {c. 1100). 

On the vital chronological issue of Kaniska’s date certainty 
has not yet been achieved; a case for A.D. ia8-9 as the initial 
year of his era * has been made out, while his death in Khotan is 
assigned to 152.^ This places him half a century after A.D. 78, 
and it can only be said at present that the new dating, while it 
has many merits, none the less leaves unexplained difficulties. 

' An interesting loan-word is suggested in kampana or kampand (below, p. 170) 
byB. Liebich i^Feitgabe StreiBerg^ pp. 230-2) who secs in it a derivative of campus, 
Liebich has a most amusing note (ZII, v. 153-63) showing how in Paftcatantra^ i. 7 
(below, p. 257) the original version has a bug, not a flea, but the latter was introduced 
by BurzGe’s version. BurzOe^s alleged narrative is suspected by Sir E. Denison Ross 
{Ocean of Story ^ v. pp. vff. ; BSOS. iii. 443), but the existence of a Pahlavi rendering, 
which alone is of importance to Indologists, is not questioned. 

* W. E. van Wijlc, Acta Orientalia^ v. 168 ff. 

® S. Konow, IHQ. iii. 851-6. The conclusions of this article are far from 

xxviii PREFACE 

The affairs of Harsa have recently been considered once more,' 
with the usual indecisive results. 

The necessity of economy of space, no less than the meagre 
resources of the Library of a University perforce incurious of 
Oriental Letters, has necessitated the reduction of bibliographical 
references to a minimum, but I have, I trust, passed over nothing 
of permanent value ; as in my Religion and Philosophy of the 
Veda and Upanishads^ I have omitted such work as seems to 
display mere ingenuity or unscientifically to revive ancient errors. 
Specific acknowledgements will be found in the notes ; a more 
general debt is due to the historians of literature and the editors of 
anthologies, and I tender grateful thanks to Professors Macdonell, 
Peterson, Thomas, Weber, Oldenberg, von Schroeder, and Winter- 
nitz. By devoting special attention to matters of style and 
literary form I have endeavoured to avoid dealing at length with 
issues already effectively discussed by my predecessors. In my 
short sketch of Classical Sanskrit Literature^ written in 192a for 
The Heritage of India Series, 1 have anticipated many of the 
views which here are set out in detail and supported by further 

I have to express my most sincere appreciation of the willing- 
ness of the Delegates of the Press to publish this work as well as 
my Sanskrit Drama, and of the great assistance rendered to me 
in preparing it by my wife. 


University of Edinburgh, 

February I928« 

» Nihar Ranjan Ray, I HQ. iii. 769-92. Congratulations are due to the editor, 
Dr. Narendra Nath Law, of this most interesting Quarterly, in which there has already 
appeared much useful and suggestive work on a wide range of topics. 


Preface ....... vii 

Kumaralata and the early Kavya, Sanskrit, and Prakrit viii 
Kalidasa s Date and Place of Birth . . . x 

Greek and Indian Fables . . . . . x 

The Dramas of Bhasa . . . . . xii 

Dandin and the Avantisundarikathd . . . xvi 

The Authenticity of the Arthagdstra . . . xvii 

The Dates of the Philosophical Systems . . . xx 

Medical Fragments from Turkestan . . . xxiii 

The Indian Origin of the Numerals . . . xxiii 

Sanskrit as a vernacular ..... xxiv 


I. Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Apabhrah^a. ? 

I. The Origin of Sanskrit . . . • 3 

a. The Character and PIxtentof the Use of Sanskrit 8 

3. The Characteristics and Development of Sanskrit 

in Literature . . . • • ^7 

4. The Prakrits . . . • . a6 

5. Apabhrah^a . . • • * 3 ^ 


II. The Origin and Development of Kavya Literature . 39 

I. The Sources of the Kavya . . -39 

The Testimony of the Ramayana . . 4 ^ 

3. The ILvidence of Patanjali and Pihgala . . 45 

4. Kavya in Inscriptions . . . .48 

5. The Kamasutra and the Poet’s Milieu . . 51 

III. A9vagho^ and Early Buddhist Kavya . • 55 

1. A9vaghosa’s»Works . . • -55 

a. A9vaghosa’s Style and Language . . 59 

3. The Avadanas . . • • 64 

4. Arya ^ura and later Poetry . . • ^7 

IV. Kalidasa and the Guptas . . ‘ *74 

I. The Guptas and the Brahmin Revival . . 74 

a. Hari^na and Vatsabhatti . . *77 



5. The Meghaduta . • • • 

6. The Kumarasambhava . 

7. The Raghuvah^a . • • • 

8. Kalidasa’s Thought 

9. Kalidasa’s Style and Metre 

V. Bharavi, Bhatti, Kumaradasa, and Magha . 

I. Bharavi . • • • 

Bhatti . • • ■ 

3. Kjaitiaradasa 

agha . • • ■ 

VI. The Lesser Epic Poets 

VII. Historical Kavya 

I. Indian Hi.storical Writing 

а. The Beginnings of History 

3. Bilhana . • • • 

4. Kalhana’s Life and Times 

5. The Rajatarangini and its Sources 

б. Kalhana as a Historian 

7. Kalhana’s Style . 

8. Minor Historical Kavya . 

VHI. Bhartrhari, Amaru, Bilhana, and Jayadeva 
I. Bhartrhari 

a. Amaru . • • • 

3. Bilhana . • • ■ 

4. Jayadeva . • • • 

IX. Lyric Poetry and the Anthologies' . 

I. Secular Poetry 
a. Religious Poetry . 

3. The Anthologies . 

4. Prakrit Lyrics 

X. Gnomic and Didactic Poetry . 

I, Gnomic Poetry . 
a. Didactic Poetry . 

Kalidasa’s Life 
4. The Rtusathhara 

79 . 

































, 336 



XI. The Didactic Fable ..... *4* 
The Origin of the Fable .... 24a 

а. The Reconstruction of the Pancatantra and its 

Origin ...... 246 

3. The Subject-matter of the Pancatantra . . 248 

4. The Style and Language of the Pancatantra . 255 

5. The Derivative Forms of the Pancatantra . 259 

б. The Hitopade9a ..... 263 

XII. The Brhatkatha and its Descendants . • 266 

1. Gunadhya and the Brh.atkatha . . • 266 

2. The Brhatkatha9lokasamgraha of Budhasvamin . 272 

3. The Kashmirian Brhatkatha . . • *75 

4. Ksemendra’s Brhatkathamanjari . . .276 

5. Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagara . . . 281 

XIII. The Romantic and the Didactic Tale . . 288 

1. The Romantic Tale .... 288 

2. The Didactic Tale . . • -293 

XIV. The Great Romances . . . -296 

The Age and Works of Dandin . . . 296 

2. The Da9akumaracarita .... 297 

3. The Content and Style of the Da9akumaracarita 299 

^ 4 - Subandhu ...••• .307 

K. The Vasavadatta . . . • • 3 °® 

6. Bana’s Life and Works .... 3*4 

7. The Harsacarita . . • - 3 *^ 

8. The Kadambarl . . . . • 3*9 

9. Bana’s Style . . • • • 326 

XV. The later Romances and the Campus . - 33 * 

1. The Romances . . . • - 33 * 

2. The Campus . . . . • 332 

XVI. The Aims and Achievement of Sanskrit Poetry . 338 

I. The Aims and T.«ining of the Poet . . 33 ^ 

a. The Achievement .... 344 

XVII. The West and Indian Literature . -352 

1. The Fables and Marchen of Greece and India . 352 

2. The Translations of the Pancatantra . • 357 

3. The Qukasaptati . . • • • 359 

4, Other Cases of Contact between East and West . 359 


5. The Romance in Greece and India . . 365 

6. The Hexameter and Indian Metre . . 37 ^ 

XVIIL Theories of Poetry . .... 372 

1. The Beginnings of Theory on Poetry . . 372 

2. The Early Schools of Poetics . . . 375 

3. The Doctrine of Dhvani . . . 386 

4. The Critics and Supporters of the Doctrine of 

Dhvani . . . • . • 39 ^ 


XIX. The Origin and Characteristics of the Scientific 

Literature ..... 403 » 

1. The Origin of the Qastras . . . 403 

2. The Characteristics of the Scientific Literature 406 

XX. Lexicography and Metrics . . .412 

1. The Origin and Characteristics of Sanskrit 

Lexicography. . . . .412 

2. The Extant Lexica .... 413 

3. Treatises on Metre . . . *415 

4. The Metres of Classical Poetry . . *417 

XXL Grammar ...... 422 

1. The Beginnings of Grammatical Study . 422 

2. Panini and his Followers . . . 423 

3. The Later Schools .... 431 

4. Grammars of Prakrit .... 433 

XXII. Civil and Religious Law (Dharma9astra) . . 437 

1. The Origin of the Dharma9astras . , 437 

2. The Smrti of Manu .... 439 

3. The Later Smrtis .... 445 

4. The Digests of Law .... 448 
XXIII. The Science of Politics and Practical Life (Artha- 

9^tra, Niti9astra) .... 450 

1. The Origin of the Artha9astra . . . 450 

2. The Content and Form of the Kautiliya Artha- 

9astra ...... 452 

3. The Authenticity of the Artha9astra . *458 

4. Later Treatises ..... 462 

5. Ancillary Sciences .... 464 

CONTENTS xxxiii 

XXIV. The Science of Love (Kama9astra) . 467 

XXV. Philosophy and Religion . . .471 

1. The Beginnings of Indian Philosophy . • 47 ^ 

2. The PurvamimMsa . . . .473 

3. The Vedanta ..... 474 

(a) The Doctrine of Non-duality and Illusion 475 
(d) Ramanuja . . . . • 47^ 

{c) Other Commentators . . . 479 

4. Theology and Mysticism . . . 479 

5. Logic and Atomism .... 483 

6. The Sarhkhya and Yoga Schools . . 487 

7. Buddhism . . . . *491 

8. Jainism ...... 497 

9. Carvakas or Lokayatas .... 498 

10. Historians of Philosophy . . 499 

11. Greece and Indian Philosophy . . . 500 

XXVL Medicine ...... 505 

I. The Development of Indian Medicine . 505 

3. The Older Samhitas .... 506 

3. The Medical Tracts in the Bower MS. . 509 

4. Later Medical Works . . . -510 

5. Greece and Indian Medicine . . 513 

XXVII. Astronomy, Astrology, and Mathematics . 516 

1. The pre-scientific Period . . - 51 ^ 

2. The Period of the Siddhantas . . -517 

3. Aryabhata and later Astronomers . .5^1 

4. Aryabhata and later Mathematicians . . 523 

5. Greece and Indian Mathematics . . 525 

6. Varahamihira and early Astrologers . . 528 

7. Greece and Indian Astrology . . . 530 

8. Varahamihira s Poetry .... 532 

9. Later Works on Astrology . . *534 

English Index . ' . . . . -537 

Sanskrit Index . . . . . -559 





ABA. Abhandlungen der Berliner Akademie der Wissenschaften, philol.- 
histor. Klasse. 

ABayA. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 
phil. Klasse. 

ABI. Annals of the Bhandarkar Institute. 

AGGW. Abhandlungen der kdnigl. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu 
Gottingen, philol.-histor. Klasse. 

AKM, Abhandlungen fiir die Kunde des Morgenlandes. 

AMG. Annales du Musde Guimet. 

AMJV. Sir Asutosh Mookerjee Silver Jubilee Volumes. 

AnSS. Ananda^rama Sanskrit Series, Poona. 

ASGW. Abhandlungen der philol.-histor. Klasse der konigl. Sachs. 

Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. 

BB. Bibliotheca Buddhica, St. Petersburg. 

BBeitr. Beitrage zur Kunde der indogermanischen Sprachen, herausgeb. 
von A. Bezzenberger. 

BEFEO. Bulletin de Tecole fran^aise d’Extreme Orient. 

BenSS. Benares Sanskrit Series. 

BI. Bibliotheca Indica, Calcutta. 

BSGW. Berichte uber die Verhandlungen der konigl. Sachs. Gesellschaft 
der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, philol.-histor. Klasse. 

BSL. Bulletin de la Soci^^^ de Linguistique de Pans. 

BSOS. Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, London Institution. 
BSS. Bombay Sanskrit Series. 

ChSS. Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, Benares. 

DLZ. Deutsche Literaturzeitung. 

EH I. Early History of India, by V. A. Smith, 4th ed., Oxford, 1924. 

EHR. English Historical Review. 

El. Epigraphia Indica. 

ERE. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics. 

GGA. Gottinger gelehrte Anzeigen. 

GIL. Geschichte der indischen Litteratur, by M. Winternitz. 

GN. Nachrichten von der konigl. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu 

Gottingen, philol.-histor. Klasse. 

GSAI. Giornale della Societk Asiatica Italiana. 

Haeberlin. Kavyasaihgraha, by J. Haeberlin, Calcutta, 1847. 

Haraprasad, Report I, II. Report on the Search for Sanskrit MSS., 1895- 
1900, 1901-6. 

HOS. Harvard Oriental Studies, ed. Charles Lanman. 

lA. Indian Antiquary. 


































Indogermanische Forschungen. 

Indian Historical Quarterly. 

India Office Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts. 

Indische Studien, ed. A. Weber. 

Indian Thought, Allahabad. 

Journal asiatique. 

Journal of the American Oriental Society. 

Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 
Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 

Kavyamala, Bombay. 

Zeitschrift fiir vergleichende Sprachforschung. 

Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India. 

Mdmoires de la Soci^t^ de Linguistique de Paris. 

Nirnaya Sagara Press, Bombay. 


Proceedings of the Third Oriental Congress, Madras, 1924. 
Proceedings and Transactions of the First Oriental Congress. 
Poona, I 9 I 9 ‘ 

Revue de I’histoire des religions, Paris. 

Rivista degli studi orientali, Rome. 

Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie der Wissenschaften. 
Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 
philol.-histor. Klasse. 

Sacred Books of the East, Oxford. 

Sacred Books of the Hindus. 

Studi Italiani di Filologia Indo-Iranica. 

Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie der Wissenschaften. 
Trivandrum Sanskrit Series, ed. T. Ganapati ^astri. 

Vizianagram Sanskrit Series. 

Wiener Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes. 

Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft. 
Zeitschrift fur Indologie und Iranistik. 




I . The Origin of Sanskrit 

S OMETIME in the course of the second millennium B.C. 

Indo-European tribes occupied, in varying degrees of com- 
pleteness, vast areas in Iran, Asia Minor, and north-west India.^ 
The problems of their movements and affiliations are still far 
from solution, but on linguistic grounds we postulate a group 
conveniently styled Aryan, whose speech can be regarded as 
the ancestor of the speeches of India and Iran. Of these 
Indian speeches^ our oldest evidence is the Rgveda^ and the 
language of this great collection of hymns is obviously a hieratic 
and conventional one. It testifies to the cultivation of sacred 
poetry by rival families of priests among many distinct tribes 
during a considerable period of time, and in various localities. 
Some of the hymns were doubtless composed in the Punjab, 
others in the region which in the Brahmanas is recognized as the 
home of the Kurus and Paftcalas, tribes representing the con- 
solidation of units familiar to us in the Rgveda, It is even 
claimed that Book vi is the poetry of the period before the tribes 
entered India proper, though the contention is still implausible. 
That, under these circumstances, the speech of the Rgveda 
should show dialectic mixture is only to be expected, and, despite 
the great difficulties involving the attempt to discriminate, some 
progress is possible towards determining the characteristics of 
the dialect which lies at the basis of the Rgveda, It was marked 
by the open pronunciation of intervocalic dh^ bh^ d, and dh as 
/, and Ih ; by the change of I into r \ and by the intrusion of 
the pronominal instrumental plural termination ebhis into the 

‘ Cf. Keith, Religion and Philosophy of the Veda^ Chap. I. 

* Cf. Wackernagel, Altind. Gramm.y i, pp. ixff.; H. Reichclt, Festschrift Streit- 
berg (1934), pp. 338 flf.; Macdonell, Vedic Gramntar (ifjio); Meillet, IF. xxxi. 
i2off. ; JA. 1910, ii. 184(1.; Milanges Levi,^. 20; Grammont, MSL. xix. 354(1.; 
Bloch, Formation de la langue marathe S. K. Chatterji, Bengali (1936). 

B 2 


nominal declension. Borrowings from other dialects can here 
and there be confidently asserted ; in some cases the forms thus 
found may be regarded as of equal age with those of the Rgveda^ 
as in the case of words in / and jajjhati^ with jjh in lieu of for 
Aryan gzh^ but in other instances we find forms ^ which are 
phonetically more advanced than those normal in the Rgveda^ 
and attest loans either from tribes whose speech had undergone 
more rapid change, perhaps as the result of greater admixture 
with non-Aryan elements, or from lower classes of the population. 
Thus we have irregular cerebrals as in kata beside krta^ kata be- 
side karta ; ch for ps in krchra ; jy for dy in jyotis ; i for r in 
(ithira ; busa for brga^ and many other anomalous forms. To 
localize these dialects is in the main impossible ; the rhotacism 
of the Rgveda accords with its western origin, for the same 
phenomenon is Iranian. The use of / is later a sign of eastern 
connexion, and in one stereotyped phrase, sfire duhitd^ we per- 
haps find e for azy as in the eastern Prakrit. 

From the language of the Rgveda we can trace a steady 
development to Classical Sanskrit, through the later Samhitas 
and the Brahmanas. The development, however, is of a special 
kind ; it is not the spontaneous growth of a popular speech un- 
hampered by tradition and unregulated by grammatical studies. 
The language of the tribes whose priests cherished the hymns of 
the Rgveda was subject doubtless to all the normal causes of 
speech change, accentuated in all likelihood by the gradual 
addition to the community of non-Aryan elements as the earlier 
inhabitants of the north, Munda or Dravidian tribes, fell under 
their control.^ But, at least in the upper classes of the population, 
alteration was opposed by the constant use of the sacred language 
and by the study devoted to it. Parallels to such restricted 
evolution are not hard to find ; the history of the Greek Koine, 
of Latin from its fixation in the first century B.C., and of modern 
English, attests the power of literature <o stereotype. In India 

^ In some cases, no doubt, forms have been altered in transmission. 

* Cf. W. Petersen, JAOS. xxxii. 414-28 ; Michelson, JAOS. xxxiii. 145-9 J Keith, 
Camb. Hist, India^ i. 109 ff. Common sense renders Dravidian and Mun^a influences 
inevitable, though proof may be difficult ; Przyluski, MSL. xxii. 205 ff. ; BSL. xxiv. 
120, 255 ff., XXV. 66 ff. ; Bloch, xxv. i ff. ; L^vi, JA, cciii. 1-56. Przyluski endeavours 
to prove Austroasiatic influence on culture ; JA. ccv. loi ff. ; ccviii. i ff. ; BSL. xxvi. 
98 ff. Cf. Poussin, Indo-europhns y pp. 198 ff. ; Chatterji, i. lyoff., 199. 


the process was accentuated by the remarkable achievements of 
her early grammarians whose analytical skill far surpassed any- 
thing achieved until much later in the western world. In the 
normal life of language a constant round of destruction and 
reconstruction takes place; old modes of expression disappear 
but new are invented ; old distinctions of declension and con- 
jugation are wiped out, but new differentiations emerge. In 
Sanskrit the grammarians accepted and carried even farther than 
did contemporary vernaculars the process of the removal of 
irregularities and the disuse of variant forms, but they sanctioned 
hardly any new formations, producing a form of expression well 
ordered and purified, worthy of the name Sanskrit which the 
Rdmdyana first accords to it. The importance of the part played 
by religion in preserving accuracy of speech is shown by the 
existence of a special form of sacrifice, the Sarasvati, which was 
destined to expiate errors of speech during the sacrifice, and in 
the Mahdbhdsya of Patanjali (150 B.C.) it is recorded that there 
were at one time seers of great knowledge who in their ordinary 
speech were guilty of using the inaccurate yar vd nas iar vd nah 
for yad vd nas tad vd nah^ but who, while sacrificing, were 
scrupulously exact. 

The influence of the grammarians, whose results were summed 
up in Panini*s Astddhydyiy probably in the fourth century B.C., 
is seen in the rigid scheme of euphonic combination of the words 
within the sentence or line of verse. This is clearly artificial, 
converting a natural speech tendency into something impossibly 
rigid, and, as applied to the text of the Rgveda, often ruining the 
metrical effect. Similar rigidity is seen in the process which sub- 
stitutes in many cases y and v for the iy and uv of the earlier 
speech. Dialectic influence may be traced in the recognition of 
/ in many words in lieu of r, and a certain distinction between the 
dialect which underlies the Rgveda and that of Panini is revealed 
by the absolute ignoring by the latter of the substitution of / and 
Ih for d and dh} Otherwise the chief mark of progress is the 
grdwth of the tendency to cerebralization, possibly under 
Dravidian influence. 

In morphology there was elimination of double forms ; a as a 
variant for ena in the instrumental singular of a stems disappeared, 

^ Cf. Ltiders, Ftstschfi/t Wackernagely pp. 294 ff. 


a and d yielded to au in the dual, dsas to ds^ d to dni^ ebhis to 
ais^ dm to dndm in the plural ; ni alone is permissible in the 
locative singular of an stems ; the effective distinction of root and 
derivative stems in I disappears ; the intrusion of weak forms 
into the place of strong and vice versa is banished ; the irregular 
vas of the vocative of vant stems is abandoned, and by eliminating 
the nomlnsitWe yuvam and ablative the pronominal declen- 
sion is harmonized with the simplicity of the three forms of the 
nominal. Similarly, in verbal forms the variant mast in the first 
plural active is laid aside, the e of the third singular middle 
yields to dAva in the second plural to dlivam^ and forms in 
r in the third plural are confined to the perfect and the root gl ; 
in the imperative dhvat is dropped, and dhi is no longer permitted 
to rival hi in the second person. Far more important is the 
laying aside of the subjunctive, whose functions were felt to be 
adequately performed by the optative, save in so far as a com- 
plete set of forms was made up for the imperative by utilizing 
the first persons. Even in the optative the wealth of forms is 
seriously diminished, only the present and a specialized precative 
being allowed. The rich variety of infinitives is steadily lessened ; 
the final result allows only that in tum^ while of the gerunds that 
in tvd supersedes tvl and tvdya. Against these losses can be set 
little more than the development of two forms of periphrasis, the 
future middle in tdhey and the perfect ^ composed of a nominal 
accusative form with the auxiliaries kr^ bhu, or ds^ the extended 
use of gerundives in tavya and anlya^ the creation of a perfect 
active participle in tavant^ the invention of a new third singular 
aorist passive as in addyi§i^ and the development of tertiary verbal 

In some of these losses Sanskrit keeps pace with popular 
speech, but the evidence is conclusive against ascribing too much 
weight to this fact. While such categories as the dual of noun and 
verb alike, the middle, and the past tenses, practically vanished 
from popular speech, Sanskrit rigidly retains them. On the 
other hand it rejects irregularities which popular speech permitted 
to survive, such as the d of the instrumental singular and nomina- 
tive plural neuter of a stems, the dsas of the masculine plural, the 

1 On changes in the use of verbal forms see L. Renou, La vaUur du parfait dans 
Us hymnes vidiques (19J5), pp. 88 ff., 188 ff. 


form gondm, the pronominal plurals astne and yuftne, the short 
forms ydt and tat, and verbal forms in r. Traces of the sub- 
junctive, the infinitive in iave, the aorist akar, the instrumental 
in ebhis exist in Prakrit, but are banned in Sanskrit. On the 
other hand, although Panini recognizes fully the Vedic accent, it 
can hardly be doubted that already by his time in actual speech 
in many regions it had yielded in part to an expiratory accent. 
The tendency to such a result is already visible in the Rgveda, 
where duhitd by the testimony of the metre must at times be 
read dhita, comparable with Pali dhitd ; * the weakening of bh 
and dh to h occurs there normally after unaccented syllables,* 
and the curious mode of notation of the accent in the (^atapatha 
Brdhmana has with some ground been ascribed to a stage of 
transition from the musical to the expiratory accent* 

We must not, however, exaggerate the activity of the gram- 
marians to the extent of suggesting with some writers that 
Classical Sanskrit is an artificial creation, a product* of the 
Brahmins when they sought to counteract the Buddhist creation 
of an artistic literature in Pali by recasting their own Prakritic 
speech with the aid of the Vedic language. It is, in point of 
fact, perfectly obvious that there is a steady progress through 
the later Samhitas, the Brahmanas, and the Aranyakas and 
Upanisads, and that the Bhasa, the spoken language of Panini’s 
grammar, is closely related to, though not identic with, the 
language of the Brahmanas and the older Upanisads. Nor in 
point of fact does Classical Sanskrit present the appearance of an 
artificial product ; simplified as it is in comparison with the 
redundant luxury of the Vedic texts, it yet presents no artificial 
symmetry, but rather admits exceptions in bewildering profusion, 
showing that the grammarians were not creators, but were en- 
gaged in a serious struggle to bring into handier shape a rather 
intractable material. 

' Liiders, KZ. xlix. 236 f. 

* Wackemagel, Aliind. Gramm.y i. 252 f. 

* Leumann, KZ. xxxi. 22 f. 

* Hoernle and Grierson, Bihdri Diet,, pp. 33 ff.; Senait, JA. sir. 8, viii. 318 ff. 
Contrast Frankc, B. Beitr.y xvii. 86; Boxwell, Trans. Phil. Soc. 1885-7, pp. 656 ff. 
Poussin {Indo-europienSy pp. 191 ff.) stresses the literary character of Sanskrit. 



2 . The Character and Extent of the Use of Sanskrit 

We have seen that the Sanskrit of the grammarians is 
essentially a legitimate development from the Vedic speech ; it 
remains to consider the extent of its use, in the time of Panini 
and later. In examining the matter it is essential to remember 
the social conditions of India. In Britain to-day the varieties of 
English spoken and written are complex and numerous ; in 
India, where caste, clan, and racial distinctions were far more 
prominent and important, linguistic facts were far more com- 
plicated still. What is clear ^ is that Sanskrit represents the 
language of Brahmanical civilization, and the extent of that 
civilization was ever increasing, though the Brahmanical religion 
had to face competition from new faiths, in special Buddhism 
and Jainism, from the fifth century B. c. The Buddhist texts 
themselves afford the most convincing evidence of all of the 
predominance of Brahmanism ; the Buddha is represented as 
attempting not to overthrow the ideal of Brahmanism, but to 
change its content by substituting merit in place of birth as the 
hall-mark of the true Brahmin. The public religious rites and 
the domestic ritual were recorded and carried out in Sanskrit, and 
education was in Brahmin hands. The Buddhist texts repeatedly 
confirm the Brahmanical principle that instruction of the people 
(lokapakti) was the duty of Brahmins, and the tales of the 
Jatakas* show young men of all classes, not merely Brahmins 
but boys of the ruling class, Ksatriyas, and children of the 
people, Vai9yas, seeking instruction in the north from Brahmin 
teachers. Sanskrit was the language of science, not merely 
grammar, prosody, astronomy, phonetics, etymology, but doubt- 
less also of more magic arts, such as the physiognomy and 
demonology recorded in the Buddhist texts and confirmed by 
the inclusion of magic, Sarpajanavidya, and Devajanavidya in the 
list of the subjects taught by the Brahrilin to the people given 
in the Qaiapatha Brdhmana? The same text^ mentions also 

' I homas, JRAS. 1904, pp. 465 ff. * Kick, SociaU Giiederung, p. 131. 

’ xiii. 4. 3. 9 ff. 

* xi. 5. 6. 8. Cf. Brhaddranyaka Upanisad^ ii. 4. 10; iv. i. a ; 5. ii ; Chandogya^ 
vii. I. a; Faddegon, Act, Or, iv. 4 ff., 133. Vakovakya perhaps denotes the 
dialogues which develop into philosophy. 


Anujasanas, Vidyas, Vakovakya, Itihasa» Parana, Gathas, and 
Nara 9 ansis, and the continuity of tradition is attested by the 
Mahabhdsya ^ which includes under the range of Sanskrit speech 
the four Vedas with their Angas and Rahasyas, the Vakovakya, 
Itihasa, Purana, medicine. The Agvaldyana Grhyasutra^ pro- 
bably not far rentoved from Panini in date, repeats in the main 
the list of the Qatapatha^ but adds Sutras, Bhasyas, Bhdrata^ 
Mahabhdrata^ and the works of the Dharmacaryas. Other 
sciences such as those of the bow, music, architecture, and 
politics are recorded in the Mahdbkdratai^ and, so far as they 
were in the hands of the Brahmins, we need not doubt that 
Sanskrit here also had its place. 

These facts are not in dispute, and the predominance of San- 
skrit in the sphere in question remained unchallenged until the 
Mahomedan invasions brought a new literary language into 
prominence. The evidence indicates clearly that Sanskrit must 
have been in constant use as a means of teaching and performing 
religious duties among the Brahmins at least. It has been 
denied that it was really even their vernacular in the time of 
Panini, and a fortiori later, but the evidence for this view is 
unsatisfactory. Panini has rules* which are meaningless for any- 
thing but a vernacular, apart from the fact that the term Bhasa 
which he applies to the speech he teaches has the natural sense 
of a spoken language. Thus the doubling of consonants is ex- 
pressly forbidden in passionate speech, as in the term of abuse 
putrddinl applied to a cruel mother ; he prescribes the use of 
prolongation in the case of calling from a distance, in greeting, 
question, and reply ; he gives information on the terminology of 
dicing and the speech of herdsmen ; he cites expressions redolent 
of real daily life. Indeed, it is the grammarians alone who 
preserve for us such usages as the repetition of the second 
person imperative followed by the present indicative to express 
intense action : khdda Middeti kkddaii, ‘ eagerly he eats^ whence 
we have in colloquial Marathi khd khd khdto ; other popular uses 
are udarapuram bhuhkte, ‘ he eats filling his belly ’ ; dandadandi 
kegdkegif2. struggle in which sticks are brandished and hair is 

, . ^ 2 lii. 3. I ; 4. I. Cf. utgikar, POCP. 1919, n- 4^ ff. 

• Hopkins, Great E^ic, pp. 1 1 ff. 

< Wackeraagel, i, p. xliii ; Bhandarkar, JBRAS. xvi. 330. 


pulled * ; air a khadatamodata variate ^ 'eat and enjoy is the rule 
here j jakistaffibo ‘ he is one who says strike the sheaves 
of corn ” \ They record also the parenthetical use ^ of manyey 
‘I think ’ ; the humorous apacasi^ ‘ you’re no cook ’ ; and authorize 
such quaint forms ^ as ydmakiy ‘I go The elaborate rules 
regarding the accent reflect also actual speech. 

Confirmatory evidence can also be adduced from the references 
of Yaska, ^ Panini, and Katyayana to particular usages of the 
northerners and the eastern peoples ; Katyayana also recognizes 
as a matter of notoriety the existence of local variations, which 
Patanjali illustrates by reference to the practice of the Kambojas, 
Surastras, Pracyamadhyas, &c. Here too may be mentioned 
the references of Katyayana and Patanjali to changes in usage 
after Panini’s lime, as when the former^ finds fault with Panini 
for not giving ndina as well as ndman as the vocative, for not 
mentioning that pronominal forms are permitted in the masculine 
as well as in the feminine singular of dvtilya and trtiyay and 
for allowing only the feminines upddhydyl^ dryd, ksatriyd^ and 
ntdiuldnl* Patafijali shows us that in his time participial phrases 
had superseded the second person perfects such as tera^ usa^ peca^ 
a fact specially characteristic of a genuine living speech.^ 

Further information of a precise character is incidentally given 
us by Patanjali.® He insists that grammar does not exist to 
create words, but to make clear what are correct uses ; in 
ordinary life {loke) a man thinks of a thing and uses the appro- 
priate word without going to a grammar ; the words of Sanskrit 
are of ordinary life {laakika). We find a grammarian and 
a charioteer (sutd) engaged in a discussion conducted in Sanskiit, 
and the latter has decided opinions of his own on the etymology 
of his designation and on that of the term prdjtir^ driver. The 
norm of speech is that of the Qistas, and these are people who 
speak correct Sanskrit without special tuition ; the purpose of 
grammar is to enable us to recognize wha are (?istas, and thus to 

' As in Pali ; Franke, ZDMG. xlvi. 31 1 f. 

* Keith, JRAS. 1915, pp. 5^3 if. 

« Nirukta, ii. 2 ; v. 5, Mahdhhasya, i. 9 ; v. 8 on vii. 3. 43. 

< Bhandarkar, JBRAS. xvi. 373. Cf. Macdonell, Vedic Grammar, p. 307, n. 2. 

» Bloch, MSL, xiV. 97 ; L.Rcnou, La valiur du parfait, p. 189. 

• vi. 3, 109; Bhandarkar, JBRAS. xvi. 334 ff- Grierson (JRAS. 1904, PP- 479 ff-) 
misunderstands the passage to mean lhat (^is^as require to be taught Sanskrit. 


apply to them to find the correct form of such terms as pr^odara^ 
which do not fall under the ordinary rules of grammar. The 
(Jistas are further defined as Brahmins of Aryavarta, the region 
south of the Himalayas, north of Pariyatra, east of the Adar9a, 
west of the K^akavana, who are not greedy, who do good dis- 
interestedly, and who store only so much grain as a pot can 
hold. Other persons may make errors ; thus they may pro- 
nounce sasa for faga^ pald^a for paldga^ manjaka for mahcaka ; 
or they may commit graver errors by using incorrect forms 
{apagabda) such as kasi for krsi^ disi for drgi^ gdvt, goni, gotd^ 
gopotdlikd {ox gatis^ or even verbal forms such as dnapayati^ for 
djfidpayati, vattaii for variate, and vaddhati for vardhate. But 
from the ^istas they could acquire the accurate forms. This 
suggests a close parallel to modern conditions in England, where 
an upper educated class sets the norm to all those in lower social 
classes ; the speech of that class is clearly a living language, and 
Sanskrit was so in much the same sense. The standard com- 
parison of Latin in the Middle Ages is somewhat unsatisfactory ; 
in the earlier period of the use of Sanskrit it is clear that it was 
much more closely similar to the speech of the lower classes in 
its numerous varieties than was Latin in medieval Europe. 
Comparison of Sanskrit with the dialects of the inscriptions of 
A9oka is significant in this regard ; their differences are not 
essential nor such as to hinder mutual comprehension, and could 
easily be paralleled in English speech to-day. 

Moreover, the conclusions thus attained are directly supported 
by the evidence of the drama, in which Brahmins and kings and 
other persons of high station and education use Sanskrit, while 
inferior characters employ some form of Prakrit. It has been 
attempted to argue against this view on the score that the drama 
was originally in Prakrit, and that Sanskiit was introduced only 
when it became essentially the general language of culture. But 
this contention ignorts the fact that on one side at least the 
drama is closely connected with the epic in Sanskrit ; Bhasa, 
indeed, has one drama without Prakrit, and ther^ is little of it in 
his other dramas based on the epic. Nor was the Sanskrit 

1 So Acoka’s Brabmagiri inscr. i ; va 4 hati (the usual single consonant is merely 
graphic ; CII. i, p. lix ; Grierson’s argument (JRAS. 1925, p. 228) from the writing of 
other conjuncts is clearly untenable) occurs in Dclhi-Topra, iv. 20. 



unintelligible in early times at least to the audience, which might 
be one including persons of quite humble rank ; the Ndtyafdstra 
expressly lays it down that the Sanskrit is to be such as is easily 
intelligible to every one. The denial that realism was ever 
aimed at in the use of language by the characters in the drama 
is negatived by the facts ; the Prakrits used by the dramatists 
show a steady advance from those of A^vaghosa through those 
of Bhasa to the dialects of Kalidasa, who introduced to the stage 
the Maharastri which, earlier unimportant, had won fame in India 
as the medium of erotic lyric.^ The evidence of A9vaghosa is of 
special value, for it attests the fact that about A. D. loo the stage 
tradition was so firmly in favour of the use of Sanskrit by the 
persons of the highest rank that he adopted it in his plays 
despite their Buddhist theme, and despite the fact that the 
Buddha himself, according to tradition, had forbidden the 
employment of ^ Sanskrit as the medium for preserving his 

The extent to which Sanskrit was used or understood is 
further attested by the epics. It is perhaps hardly necessary 
now to do more than mention the implausible conjecture ® which 
ascribes the writing of the epics in Sanskrit to some period after 
the Christian era and sees in them translations from some 
Prakrit. The silence of antiquity on this vast undertaking is 
inexplicable, and it is incredible that the translation should have 
taken place at a period when Buddhism was triumphant and 
Brahminism comparatively depressed. The language itself has 
a distinctive character which renders the idea of translation 
absurd ; ^ we have in Buddhist literature of the so-called Gatha 
type abundant evidence of the results produced by efforts to 
Sanskritize, and the arguments which are adduced to establish 
the reality of translation would suffice to prove that Vedic texts 
were likewise translations. Moreover, there is conclusive evidence 
that Panini ® knew a Mahdbhdrata or at least a Bharatan epic in 
Sanskrit, and that the bulk of the Rdmdyana^ was composed 

' Keith, Sanskrit Drama^ pp. 73 ff., 85 ff., 131 f., 140, 155. 

* CuUavagga, v. 33. 1 ; Keith, IHQ. i. 501. 

• Grierson, lA. xxiii. 53; Barth, RHR. xxvii. 388. 

^ Jacobi, Ramayanay p. 117 ; ZDMG. xlviii. 407 ff. ; Keith, JRAS. 1906, pp. 3 flf. 

® Hopkins, Great Epic, p. 385. « Keith, JRAS. 1915, pp. 318 ff. 


long before A9oka. Now, though the Brahmins made the epics 
largely their own, they were not the earliest composers of this 
form of literature, and the fact is attested in the simpler, more 
careless, language which shows indifference to many of the refine- 
ments of Brahmanical speech. Panini ignores these deviations 
from his norm ; it was no part of his aim to deal with the speech 
current outside the hieratic circle, and in the epic speech we 
have doubtless the form of language used by the Ksatriyas and 
the better educated of the Vai9yas during the period when the 
poems took shape. Both the Mahdbharata and the Rdmdyana 
are, it must be remembered, essentially aristocratic ; they corre- 
spond to the Iliad and the Odyssey, and like them became the 
objects of the deep interest of wider circles. In recent times, no 
doubt, the epics have been unintelligible to the audience, to 
whom interpretation has been requisite, though delight is still 
felt in the sound of the sacred language. But this doubtless was 
not the case in older times ; we must postulate a long period 
when the epic was fairly easily intelligible to large sections of 
the people. 

Doubtless, as time went on, the gulf between Sanskrit and the 
languages of the day became more and more marked ; even 
between the epic language and that of the Brahmin schools there 
were differences to which express reference is made in the 
Rdmdyana} and both the practice of the dramas and such 
passages as that in Kalidasa’s Kumar asambhava} in which 
Sarasvatl addresses Qiva and his bride, the one in Sanskrit, the 
other in Prakrit, attest dialectic differences based on rank, sex, 
and locality. In a sense doubtless Sanskrit came more and more 
to resemble Latin in the Middle Ages, but, like Latin, its vitality 
as the learned speech of the educated classes was unimpaired, 
and it won victories even in fields which were at first hostile to 
it .3 The medical textbook current under the name of Caraka 
tells us that Sanskrit was used in discussions in the medical 
schools of the day. A work of very different character, the 
Kdmasutra of Vatsyayana, bids its man of fashion in his con- 

' V. 30. 17 f. ; iv. 3. 38 f. ; ii. 91. 33 ; vii. 36. 44 ; Jacobi, Rdmdyana^ p. 115. Cf. 
HopkiaS) Great EpiCy p. 364. 

* vii. 87, 

3 Cf. Jacobi, Scientia, xiv. 351 ff. ; Oldcnberg, Das Makabhdratay pp. 129 ff. 


versation in polite society use both Sanskrit and the vernacular 
of his country {degabhdsd). Hiuen Tsang tells us in the seventh 
century that Buddhist disputants used officially Sanskrit in their 
debates ; in his Upamitibhavaprapancakatha the Jain Siddharsi 
(a. D. 906) gives as his reason for preferring Sanskrit for this 
allegory of human life that persons of culture despise any other 
form of speech, and claims that his Sanskrit is so simple as to be 
understood even by those who preferred Prakrit. The writing 
of Sanskrit poems which even women and children — of course of 
the higher classes — can understand is contemplated by Bhamaha 
in his treatise on poetics (c. A. D, 700). Bilhana (A. D. 1060) 
would have us believe that the women even of his homeland, 
Kashmir, were able to appreciate Sanskrit and Prakrit as well as 
their mother tongue {janmabhasd). The famous collection of 
tales known as the P ahcatantra owes its origin in theory in part, 
according to one later version, to the importance of instructing 
princes in Sanskrit as well as in the conduct of affairs. 

There were, of course, spheres in which Sanskrit was at first 
rejected, beyond all in the early literatures of Jainism and 
Buddhism, which were probably couched in an old form of what 
became known as Ardhamagadhi Piakrit. As has been shown, ^ 
however, the question was early raised, if we may trust the 
Buddhist tradition, whether Sanskrit should not serve as the 
medium to preserve the Master’s instruction, a notice which 
bears emphatic testimony to the predominance of Sanskrit as 
a literary medium. In both cases, however, Sanskrit finally won 
its way, and first Buddhists, then Jains, rendered great services 
both to Sanskrit literature and grammar. 

The Buddhist revolt against Sanskrit had, however, one 
important result. The edicts of A^oka, in which he impressed 
on his subjects throughout his vast realm the duty of practising 
virtue, were inevitably couched in Prakrit, not Sanskrit, and the 
epigraphic tradition thus established died hard. But it had to 
contend with facts ; inscriptions were intended to be intelligible, 
and in the long run it proved that Sanskrit was the speech 
which had the best chance of appealing to those who could read 
inscriptions. In the second century B. c. traces of the influence 

Keith, IHQ. i. 501 f. 


of Sanskrit are apparent ; in the next century on one view * is 
found the first inscription which on the whole may be called 
Sanskrit, and Sanskritisms are on the increase.* In the first 
century A. D. Prakrit still prevails, but, though it is prominent 
also in the next century, we find the great Sanskrit inscription 
of Rudradaman which displays clearly the existence of an 
elaborate Sanskrit literature. In the next century Sanskrit and 
Prakrit contend, in the fourth Prakrit becomes rare with the 
Brahmanical revival under the Gupta dynasty, and from the fifth 
it almost disappears in Northern India. A parallel process was 
going on in literature ; in such Buddhist works as the Lalitavistara 
and the Mahdvastu we find the results of an effort to convert 
a Prakrit into Sanskrit, and similar results are to be found in 
other fields, as in the medical treatises of the Bower manuscript. 
From this the Buddhists soon advanced to the stage in which 
Sanskrit proper was used, as in the Divyavadana, perhaps of the 
second century A.D.* The Jains showed more conservatism, but 
even they ultimately accepted the use of Sanskrit as legitimate. 
Serious competition with Sanskrit as the language of literature 
again arose when the Mahomedan conquests brought Persian 
into play, and when the vernaculars in the period shortly after 
A. D. 1000 began first to influence Sanskrit and then to develop 


into literary languages. 

The true home of the gistas is given by Patanjali as Aryavarta, 
but even in his time the Dekhan was a home of Sanskrit ; 
Katyayana himself seems to have lived there in the third 
century B. C. Ya.ska* {c. 500 B. C.) already mentions a southern 
use of the Vedic word vijdmdtr, and Patanjali records the love in 
the south for derivative formations and the use of sarasi, large 
pond. Even in Southern India, despite the existence of a vigorous 
Kanarese and Tamil literature, Sanskrit inscriptions appear from 

J On sacrificial post at Isapur, 34* yea' of Vasiska. 33 B. C. acc. Fleet, JRA . 9 , 
3p. 1 31 5 ff. ; Hoemle, Bawtr p. 65 i S., rndta, 1910-11, pp- 39 • 

is mLh more probably of the second century a.d. (1 a_d. 10a); an inscr. of 
Huviska shows almost correct Sanskrit ; JRAS. 1914, PP- 400 if- 

• Franke, Pali und Sanskrit, pp. 13, Rapson, JRAS. 1904. P' . 

» Prryluski {La Ugsndt de tempsrsur Afoka, pp. 14 ff-) ascribes mnch to he 
influence of Mathura and its Sarvastivadin school, and pla^s its use of Sanskrit m the 

Acokavaddna at least in the second century _B.c. (cf.pp. 166 ff.). . 

* vi. 9. Cf. Buhler, WZKM. i. 3- For Aryavarta, see I A. xxilv. 179 (Madhyadej ) 

[ind Kdvyamimdhs&i p. xxiv. 


the sixth century onwards, often mixed with Dravidian phrases, 
attesting the tendency of Sanskrit to become a Koine, and 
Sanskrit left a deep impression even on the virile Dravidian 
languages. Ceylon fell under its influence, and Sinhalese shows 
marked traces of its operation on it. It reached the Sunda 
Islands, Borneo, the Philippines, and in Java produced a remark- 
able development in the shape of the Kavi speech and literature. 
Adventurers of high rank founded kingdoms in Further India, 
where Indian names are already recorded by the geographer 
Ptolemy in the second century A. D. The San.skrit inscriptions 
of Campa begin perhaps in that century, those of Cambodia 
before A. D. 600, and they bear testimony to the energetic study 
of Sanskrit grammar and literature. Of greater importance still 
was the passage of Sanskrit texts to Central Asia and their 
influence on China, Tibet, and Japan. 

It is characteristic of the status of Sanskrit as the speech of 
men of education that in one sphere of use it only slowly came 
to be widely employed. Coins were meant for humble practical 
uses, and even Western Ksatrapas, like Rudradaman, who used 
Sanskrit for their inscriptions, were contented with Prakrit for 
coin legends ; but even in this sphere Sanskrit gradually 

The results which we have attained are in accord with the 
evidence afforded by Greek renderings of Indian terms.* These 
are neither wholly based on Sanskrit forms nor on Prakrit. 
Derived doubtless from the speech now of the upper, now of the 
lower classes, they remind us of the salient fact that at any given 
moment in India there were in active use several forms of speech 
varying according to the class of society. The denial of the 
vernacular character of Sanskrit* rests largely on a failure to 
realize the true point at issue, on a confusion between the earlier 
period when Sanskrit was far more close to the speech of the 
lower classes and later times, or on the fallacious view that the 
only speech which deserves the style of a vernacular must be 

' Bloch, Milanges LM, p. 16. 

• L^vi, BSL. viii, pp. viii, %, xvii ; Franke, ZDMG. xlvii. 596 ff. ; Bloch, Milanges 
Lhi, pp. I ff. 

• Grierson, JRAS. 1904, p. 481. On this view standard English would not be 
a vernacular. 


the language of the lower classes of the population. Still less 
plausible is the suggestion' that Sanskrit as a vernacular was 
preserved in Kashmir during its eclipse in India generally, a view 
which has no support either in tradition or in the form of the 
Kashmirian vernacular. What we do find is that the Buddhism 
which penetrated Kashmir was strongly influenced by Mathura, 
where the new faith had fallen into the hands of men trained in 
the Brahmanical schools, who applied their own language to the 
propagation of the faith. We have in this one more proof of the 
hold which Sanskrit had in Brahmanical circles, and of the obvious 
fact that it was far better fitted as a language of theology and 
philosophy than Ardhamagadhi or any similar dialect. 

3 , T/te Characteristics and Development of Sanskrit 
in Literature 

It is a characteristic feature of Sanskrit, intimately connected 
with its true vitality, that, unlike Medieval Latin, it undergoes 
important changes in the course of its prolonged literary existence, 
which even to-day is far from ended. Moreover, we must note 
the existence of two streams of movement, the Sanskrit of the 
Brahmanical schools as summed up in the grammar of Panini, 
and the less formal language of the rviling class and the Brahmins 
in their entourage as shown in the epics. The works of Classical 
Sanskrit literature show the clearest evidence of influence in both 
directions; the Brahmins, to whom or to whose influence and 
tradition we owe most of the literature, were schooled in grammar 
and were anxious to avoid solecisms, but they were also under 
the literary influence of the epics, and in special of the Ramayana, 
and it was not possible for them to avoid assimilating their 
language in great measure to that of their model. 

Hence it follows that much of what is taught by Panini and 
his followers has no repsesentation in the literature. As we have 
seen, Katyayana and Patafijali recognize the disuse of certain 
verbal forms ; there disappear also many idioms,* such as anvSje- 
or upaje-kr, strengthen, nivacane-kr, be silent, mano- or kane- 

^ Franke, Pali und Sanskrit, pp. 87 ff. 

• Bhandarkar, JBRAS. xvi. 373; Speijer, Sansk. Synt., pp. 39 ) 45 . 61 f., 65 f., ^ 2 , 
89 f., 108. 


han, fulfil one’s longing, celaknopam vr^tah^ * rained until the 
clothes were wet ’ ; many words are no longer used, such as 
anvavasarga, allowing one his own way, niravasita, excom- 
municated, abhividhiy including, uisanjana, throwing up, abhresa, 
equitablcness. The pronominal base tya disappears ; in the verb 
the infinitive tavai is lost, many formations such as jajanti dis- 
appear, and the perfect participle middle in ana is disused. The 
adverbial form in trd, as in devatrd, and the old word parut are 
lost. Many nominal derivatives are not exemplified, and the use 
of such phrases as ^ukltsydt disappears. Many syntactical rules 
are obsolete, such as the use of the accusative with adjectives in 
uka ; the instrumental with satnjnd or sathprayam ; the dative 
with Qldgh and sthd ; trnani man or gune or gvdnam man ; the 
ablative with words denoting far or near ; the genitive with verbs 
of remembering other than smr, with ndth, hope, with jas and 
other verbs denoting injury, and impersonally with expressions 
of illness, caurasya rujati ; the instrumental with prasita and 
titsiika ; uta in simple interrogations, and many other usages. 

It is, however, true that beside this feature we have the 
deliberate employment by poets of usages, prescribed in the 
grammar, but so rare as to reveal themselves as purely learned 
reminiscences. From A^vaghosa on, the great authors are fond 
of displaying their erudition; Kalidasa has anugiram^ ‘on the 
mountain’, though this is given by Panini ^ merely as an optional 
form, and sausndtaka^ ‘ asking if one has bathed well from 
a Varttika.* Magha is adept in these niceties; he has khalu 
with the gerund to denote prohibition ; md jivan^ ‘ let him not 
live’; he distinguishes vi-svan, eat noisily, and vi-svan, howl; 
he affects the passive use of the perfect, revives aorist forms and 
gerunds in am, including vastraknopam/sind uses klam as a finite 
verb. Qriharsa, author of the Naisadhlya, is responsible for the 
solitary example of the first person periphrastic future middle, 
dargayitdhe, yet cited.^ The case is st^ll more extreme with 
Bhatti, whose epic is at once a poem and an illustration of the 
rules of grammar and rhetoric, and who has imitators in Bhau- 
maka’s Rdvandrjtmlya and Halayudha’s Kavirahasya (loth cent.). 
Even in writers of the folk-tale knowledge of grammar sometimes 

^ V. 4. iia (Senaka). * iv. 4. i, v. 3. 

* Cf. grammatical similes; Walter, Indica, iii 38. 


is exhibited quite unexpectedly in the shape of recondite forms 
culled from Panini or his successors. So serious a philosopher 
as (^ahkara resorts to the use of the negative with finite verbs — 
which originally must have been merely a comic use — and he is 
guilty also of the employment of the comparative of a verb, 
upapadye-iardniy a linguistic monstrosity of the worst kind. 

The influence of the grammarians explains also the free use of 
the aorist in the writers of elaborate prose ; Bana and Dandin, 
moreover, observe the precise rule for the use of the perfect in 
narration prescribed by the grammarians. It has been suggested 
that this may be explained by the derivation of prose from 
a different tradition than poetry, but the suggestion appears 
needless.^ Subandhu ignores the rule as to the perfect, and the 
simple explanation of the accuracy of the other writers is the 
desire to display their skill in grammar, which was naturally 
facilitated by the absence of metrical restrictions. The same 
liberty explains their practice in postponing the verb to the end 
of the sentence, unquestionably its traditional resting-place, but 
ope impossible to observe in verse. 

Very different was the effect on Classical poetry of the 
influence of the epics.^ They show, with special frequency in 
the case of the Mahdbhdrata? the tendency of uncultivated 
speech to ignore fine distinctions and by analogical formations to 
simplify grammar. Thus rules of euphonic combination are not 
rarely ignored ; in the noun the distinction of weak and strong 
case-forms is here and there forgotten ; there is confusion of 
stems in i and in ; by analogy pusdnam replaces the older 
pusanam ; there is confusion in the use of cases, especially in the 
pronoun ; in the verb primary and secondary endings are some- 
times confused ; active and middle are often employed for 
metrical reasons in place of each other ; even the passive is found 
with active terminations ; the delicate rules affecting the use of 
the intermediate i are violated at every turn ; the feminine of the 
present participle active is formed indifferently by anti or atl ; the 

' Speijer, Sansk. Synt., §§ 328 ff. ; Kenou, La valeur du parfait^ pp. 86 ff. 

* For the Rdmdyana cf. Bohtlingk, BSGW. 1887, pp. 213(1. ; ZDMG. xliii. 53 (1,; 
Roussel, Muston, 1911, pp. ; 1912, pp. 25(1., 201 ff. ; JA. 1910, i. 1-69; Kci.h, 
JKAS. 1910, pp. 468 ff., 1321 ff. 

* Holtzmann, Gramm, aus d. M. (1884'). 

C 2 



middle participle of causatives and denominatives is often formed 
by ana, partly doubtless on grounds of metrical convenience; 
the rule that the gerund is formed by /vd in simple, in j/a in 
compound, verbs is constantly disregarded ; minutiae such as 
the substitution of dhdvati for the present of sr are habitually 
neglected. The tendency to prefer a bases is seen in the verb 
and the noun alike, giving such forms as digd and dnhitd. 

It was inevitable that so distinguished models as the Mahd- 
bhdrata and the Rdmdyana should deeply affect later poets, and 
Patanjali, in citing an epic fragment containing the irregular term 
priydkhya in lieu of priydkhydya, expressly asserts that poets 
commit such irregularities {chandovat kavayah kurvanti). We 
find, therefore, occasional errors such as the confusion of ^«/Iand 
atl, of tvd and ya, of active and middle, as well as regular dis- 
regard of the specific sense of the past tenses as laid down by the 
grammarians but ignored in the epic. As in the epic, the perfect 
and imperfect freely interchange as tenses of simple narration 
without nuance of any kind. Even Kalidasa permits himself 
sarati and dsa for babhuva, and ^liharsa with the Rdmdyana 
uses kavdta for the kapdta of Panini. Lesser poets, especially the 
poetasters who turned out inscriptions, are naturally greater 
sinners by far against grammatical rules, especially when they 
can plead metrical difficulties as excuse. 

Neither the epic nor the grammarians, however, are responsible 
for the fundamental change which gradually besets the Kavya 
style, in the worst form in prose, but in varying degree even in 
verse. This is the change from the verbal to the nominal style, 
as Bhandarkar ^ not inaptly termed it. In the main, Vedic and 
epic Sanskrit show a form of speech closely akin to Greek and 
Latin; verbal forms are freely used, and relative clauses and 
clauses introduced by conjunctions are in regular employment. 
The essential feature of the new style is the substitution of the use 
of compounds for the older forms.* In its simplest form, of course, 
the practice is unobjectionable and tends to conciseness ; hataputra 

^ JBRAS. xvi. 366 ff.; cf. Bloch, MSU xiv. 37 ff. ; Renou, La valeur du patfait, 
pp. 90 ff. ; Stchoupak, MSL. xxi. i ff. ; Jacobi, IF. xiv. 336(1. 

* Jacobi {Compositum und Nebensatiy pp. 35, 91 ff.) points out that they are 
properly used for ornamental description, not for important qualifications, and also 
suggests poetic convenience as a cause of popularity ; cf. Chap. II, § 4. See also 
Wackernagcl, Altind, Gramm,, II. i. 35, 37, 159; Whitney, Sansk, Gramm,, § 1346. 

is less cumbrous than ‘ whose sons have been slain \ But when 
new members are added there are soon lost the advantages of an 
inflective language with its due syntactical union of formed words 
into sentences ; brevity is attained at a fatal cost in clearness. 
A compound like jalantagcandracapala^ * fickle as the moon 
reflected in the water is comparatively innocuous, but even a 
stylist like Kalidasa permits himself such a phrase as vlcik^obha- 
stanitavihagagrenikdndgundy * whose girdle-string is a row of 
birds loquacious through the agitation of the waves’. True, in 
such a case there is no real doubt as to the sense, but often this 
is not the case, and in point of fact it is one of the delights of the 
later poets to compose compounds which contain a double 
entendre, since they can be read in two ways ; of such monstro- 
sities Subandhu is a master. Moreover, the nominal forms of 
the verb are given a marked preference ; the expression of past 
time is regularly carried out by a past participle passive in form 
of an intransitive verb, such as gatas, he went, or if the verb is 
active the subject is put into the instrumental and the past 
participle passive is employed, as in mrgenoktam^ the deer said. 
Or an active past participle is created by adding vant to the 
passive participle, l^rtavdn^ he did ; a distant parallel in the 
grammarians has been seen in the sanction by Panini of the use 
of such forms as ddgvdhs in lieu of a finite verb. Or the use of 
any save a verb of colourless kind may be avoided by substitut- 
ing such an expression as pakvam karoti for pacati, he cooks, or 
pakvo bhavati, it is cooked, for pacyate. Similarly the peri- 
phrastic future is preferred to the finite verb. Or the verb may 
wholly disappear as when for ayaih mdhsam bhak^ayati we 
have mdhsabkojako *yamy he is a meat eater. In harmony 
with this is the tendency to lay great stress on case relations 
as expressing meaning, a practice which in the later style in 
philosophy, exegesis, and dialectics results in the occurrence 
of sentences passim Avith no verb and practically only the 
nominative and ablative cases of abstract nouns. Frequent, and 
indeed in some forms of composition, such as the folk tale, 
tedious in its reiteration, is the use of gerunds in lieu of subordi- 
nate clauses. 

We are reduced to conjecture as to the cause of this tendency. 
The desire for brevity is already seen in the style of the Vedic 


Sutras, and the grammarians carried it to excess ; their works 
furnish abundant instances of insistence on using cases in a preg- 
nant sense and in affecting compounds ; gerunds are frequent in 
the ritual texts. It has been suggested that the love for partici- 
pial forms is partly explained by Dravidian influence;^ the 
periphrastic future in both Sanskrit and Dravidian uses the 
auxiliary verb only in the first and second persons ; the type 
krtavan has a parallel in (eydavan ; the rule of the order of 
words in which the governed word precedes and the verb is 
placed at the end of the sentence is Dravidian. Unhappily, the 
arguments are inconclusive;^ the omission of the auxiliary in 
the third person is natural, for in that person in any sentence 
whatever it is commonly omitted as easily understood ; the order 
of words in Sanskrit has parallels in many other languages than 
Dravidian and rests on general rules of thought. 

Beside the correct or comparatively correct Sanskrit of the 
poetic literature we find, especially in technical and non-Brah- 
manical works, abundant evidence of a popular Sanskrit or mixed 
Sanskrit in various forms. Generically it can be regarded as the 
result of men who were not wont to use Sanskrit trying to write 
in that language, but there are different aspects. Thus the early 
Buddhist writers who decided to adapt to the more learned 
language the Buddhist traditions probably current in Ardhama- 
gadhl were hampered by the desire not to depart unduly in verse 
at least from their models, a fact which explains the peculiar 
forms found especially in Gathas, but also in prose in such 
a text as the Mahdvastu? Traces of this influence persist even 
in much more polished Buddhist writers such as A^vaghosa, and 
much of it may be seen in the Divydvaddna^ though that work 

^ Konow, LSI. iv. 279 ff.; Grierson, BSOS. I. iii. 72; Carnoy, JAOS. xxxix. 
1 17 ff. ; Chatterji, i. 1 74 ff. 

* Cf. R. Swaminalha Aiyar, POCP. 1919, i, pp. Ixxi ff., who legitimately points out 
that the evidence of Dravidian is very late in date, and these languages probably bor- 
rowed from Aryan. K. G. ^ankar (JRAS. 1924, pp. 664 ff.) points out that the 
Tol-kdppiyam^ the oldest Tamil work, must be after 400 A. D. as it refers to the 
Porulodhikdrafhsatrat horary astrology, and that the Moriyas of the Sangam are the 
Mauryas of the Kohkana, who date after 494 A. d. 

* Cf. Senart, i, pp. iv, xiiiff. ; Wackemagel, Altind. Gramm.^ i, p. xxxix. Contrast 
F. W. Thomas, JRAS. 1904, p. 469, who regards the mixed Sanskrit as representing 
middle-class speech. Poussin {^Indo-europhns^ p. 205) stresses convention as stereo- 
typing usage. 


marks In part a successful attempt to adapt Sanskrit prose, as 
known at Mathura and elsewhere, to Buddhist use. The degree 
of cultivation of those who endeavoured to write in Sanskrit 
might vary greatly ; thus the Sanskritization of the treatises in 
the Bower Manuscript, perhaps of the fourth century A.D., is 
comparatively good in the case of those on medicine, and de- 
cidedly poor in those on divination and incantation. In part the 
deviation from Sanskrit as laid down in the grammars is purely 
a case of Prakritic forms intruding scarcely disguised into the 
texts, but in other instances popular influence reveals itself in 
a Sanskrit which ignores delicate distinctions and confuses forms. 
The distinction between Prakritisms and careless Sanskrit is not 
absolute, but it is convenient and legitimate. 

Thus we have in the phonology of this popular Sanskrit as 
seen in the Bower MS. some confusion of r and rt, of n and n, of 
f , s, and s ; metrical lengthening and shortening of vowels is not 
rare ; ntl becomes tnbl, and rarely a is prefixed as in alula. In 
Sandhi hiatus and hyper-Sandhi, even to the extent of an elided 
consonant {a(vibhyanumatak), are known, while a is occasionally 
elided when initial. In declension we find is and leveisely « as 
feminine nominatives for i and us ; is is often replaced by yas as 
the accusative feminine, and in stems are treated as i sterns, as in 
pittindm for pittindm. In the verb we have simplification in class, 
as in lihet for lihydt,piset for pihsydt ; and, as in the epic, very 
free interchange of active and middle forms ; the gerunds in tvd 
and yd are confused. Stem formation shows frequently the 
mixture of bases in a, i, or « for those in as, is, or us, and, rarely, 
such a base as hantdra from the accusative of hantr ; there is con- 
fusion in feminine suffixes, as inghnd ior ghni,caturihd for catur- 
thi, while ordinals in composition are sometimes replaced by 
cardinals. Very characteristic is confusion of gender, especially 
between masculine and neuter, more rarely between masculine and 
feminine or feminine and neuter. Case confusion is common, as 
is non-observation of rules of concord and confusion of numbers, 
white the interpolation of particles within compounds or sentences, 
absolute constructions, and very loosely compacted clauses are 

Existing as it did side by side with Prakrit dialects, it was 
inevitable that there should be frequent borrowings on either 


side,' despite the objections raised from time to time by gram- 
marians and sticklers for purity in the use of the sacred language 
in sacrificial matters.* Thus, though Classical Sanskrit lost many 
of the words and roots recorded in the Ganapatha and the 
Dkdtupdfha associated with Panini's grammar, it was enriched by 
numerous additions, some easy, others difficult, of detection. In 
many cases the Prakrit forms were taken over with only the neces- 
sary changes requisite to make them seem to have terminations 
allowed in Sanskrit. It appears as if even Panini ^ recognized 
this practice, since he allows eastern place-names to pass as 
correct though having the Prakrit e and o for the regular ai and 
au which his rules require. In other cases the retention of the 
Prakrit form was aided by the possibility of regarding the form 
as genuine Sanskrit ; thus the poetic technical term vicchitti, really 
from vik^ipii,^ in all likelihood seemed to be derivable from w- 
ckid ; Kfsna*s epithet Govinda, perhaps Prakrit {ox gopendra^ was 
felt dLSgo-vinda^ winner of cows ; in late texts bhadanta, from the 
phrase of greeting bhadram te, is defended as from bhad with the 
suffix anta^ and uitr is not recognized as from avatr through 
Prakrit otarati ; duruttara^ hard to overcome, really from Prakrit 
duttara for dustara^ was felt as dur-uttara. In many cases, doubt- 
less, Prakrit words were correctly rendered into good Sanskrit 
equivalents, in which case borrowing cannot now be established. 
In others, however, the process is betrayed by false forms ; thus 
Prakrit mdrisa, friend, where s stands for f, was mechanically 
made into mdrisa ; gucchus for the lost grpsa^ became gutsa^ 
cluster ; masina^ Sanskrit mrtsna, reappeared as masrna, soft ; 
rukkha^ for ruksa or rather vrk^a^ ruksa, tree ; and hetthd, from 
adhastdty gave by reconstruction he^ta, A common formation in 
Jain texts is vidhyai^ go out, which is based on Prakrit vijjhai^ 
from Sanskrit vik§ai ; similarly vikurVy produce by magic, is 
traced through viuvvai, viuwae to vikr. Later there are 
borrowings from vernaculars such as Gujarati or Marathi or 

' Zachariae, Beitr, z. Lexikogr.j pp. 53 ff. 

* See (^abarasv2Lmin and Kumarila on Mtmahsd Sutroy i. 3, 24 ff. ; Sarasvati- 

kanthahhdranay i. 16 ; Mahdbhdsyay i. 5. * i. 1. 75. 

* Zachariae, B. Beitr.y xiii. 93 ; cf. argala (lA. xix. 59) through aggala for agralaka ; 
Kielhom, GN. 1903, p. 308. 

* See Haltzsch, CIl. i, pp. Ixxff., contra Turner, JR AS. 1925, p. 177. I agree with 
Oldenberg that in RV. vi. 3. 7 ruksa is not *= vrksa. 


Hindl.^ Often, of course, the Sanskrit version has been ingeni- 
ously made to appear valid in itself, as when pahbhdra is meta- 
morphosed into prdgbhdra^ though prahvdra is its origin. 

Occasionally we find the process of Sanskritization applied to 
what was really Sanskrit ; probably thus are to be explained 
prasabhatHy violently, from pra-sah \ Naghusa for the older 
proper name Nahusa, varsdbku^ frog, for varsdhu. 

From foreign sources borrowings also occurred naturally 
enough in those cases where, as in the Dekhan or Further India, 
Sanskrit was used side by side with a native speech. Kumarila 
permits the incorporation of Dravidian terms, provided that they 
are given Sanskrit terminations, and names especially such as 
Sayana were freely thus Sanskritized. The I which marks South 
Indian texts ^ in lieu of the d and I of the north is doubtless in part 
due to Dravidian influence. On the other hand, invasions from 
the north brought early and late Iranian words such as lipi^ 
writing, Old Persian dipi? ksatrapa, satrap, and perhaps mudrd, 
seal,^ or divira^ scribe, mihira^ Mithra, bahddura^ sdha^ and sdhi. 
The Greek invasions in the north left little trace in the language, 
but probably later India borrowed suruhgd from syrinx in the 
technical sense of an underground passage, and a large number 
of terms of astrology. Many of these they ingeniously altered to 
seem true Sanskrit, as when for hydrochoos we find hrdroga^ or 
jdmitra for diametron. With similar ingenuity the useful camel 
w’as metamorphosed into kramela^ suggesting connexion with 
kram^ go. The Mahomedan invasion brought with it Arabic 
and Turkish terms, and the European powers have contributed 
occasional additions to the modern Sanskrit vocabulary, testify- 
ing to its capacity of assimilation. The scientific literature in 
special has shown its willingness to appropriate the terms used 
by those from whom knowledge has been acquired, together with 
considerable skill in disguising the loan. 

> Cf. Bloomfield, Festschrift Wackemagel, pp. 220-30; Hertel, HOS. xii. 29 f. 

* Liiders, Festschrift Wackemagel, p. 295. 

* Btthler, Ind, Stud,, iii. ai flf. ; Hultzsch, CII. i, p. xlii. 

< Franke. ZDMG. xlvi. 731 flf. Hala has vandi, captive. Cf. Weber, Monatsber. 
BerU Ak., 1879, pp. 810 flf. 

» L^vi {De Graecis vet, Ind. Mon., p. 56) doubts this, but the word is late ; lopaka 
(dAwirjyf) is different, as lopdfa is Vcdic. Hala has kalama (jchXaixot) and maragaa 


As the passage of time made Sanskrit more and more a language 
of culture, it reveals in increasing measure a lack of delicate sensi- 
bility to idiomatic use of words, such as is engendered by usage 
in a living speech more closely in touch with ordinary life. The 
defect, however, is sometimes exaggerated, for it must not be 
forgotten that poets of all times are apt, through considerations of 
metre or desire for effect,^ to adopt unusual senses of words and 
to strain meanings ; Pindar and Propertius illustrate a tendency 
which is found more or less markedly throughout classical litera- 
ture, while the Alexandrian Lykophron is guilty of as distinct 
linguistic monstrosities as any Indian poet. The tendency in 
their case was accentuated by the growing love for paronomasias, 
and the tendency to study poetic dictionaries which gave lists of 
synonyms, ignoring the fact that in reality two terms are practi- 
cally never really coextensive in sense. The grammatical know- 
ledge of the poets also led them into inventing terms or using 
terms in senses etymologically unexceptionable but not sanc- 
tioned by usage. 

4. The Prakrits 

The most widely accepted etymology of Prakrit current in 
India treats the name as denoting derivative, the prime source 
{prakrii) being Sanskrit. Another view reverses the position ; 
Prakrit is what comes at once from nature, what all people 
without special instruction can easily understand and use.'-^ It is 
impossible to decide what was the process which led to the use 
of the term ; perhaps speeches other than Sanskrit received the 
name from being the common or vulgar speech, the language 
of the humble man as opposed to him of education whc could 
talk the pure language. In the grammarians and writers on 
poetics the term more especially denotes a number of distinctly 
artificial literary dialects, which as they stand were certainly not 
vernaculars ; but it is customary to use the term to apply to 
Indian vernaculars prior to the period when the modern 
vernaculars became fixed. An even wider sense is given by 
Sir George Grierson, who classifies Prakrits in three great stages : 

^ Catullus' curious compounds in the A ttis illustrate this theme. 
* Pischcl, Grammatik der Prakrit -Sprachen §§ i, 16. 


Primary Prakrits, of which the Vedic language and its successor 
Sanskrit are literary forms ; Secondary Prakrits, represented in 
literature by Pali, by the Prakrits of the grammarians, of the 
drama and literature generally, and by the Apabhrah9as of the 
grammarians ; and Tertiary Prakrits, the modern vernaculars. 

It may be doubted whether the terminology has sufficient merit 
to render it desirable to give it currency, because it obscures the 
constant process of change and suggests that there are greater 
distinctions between the periods than do exist, while it does not 
allow a special place to a fundamental innovation which occurs 
with the period designed as Secondary Prakrit. 

Apart from conclusions drawn from odd forms in the Vedic 
literature, our first real knowledge of the Prakrits is derived from 
the inscriptions of A^oka,^ from which can be deduced with 
certainty the existence of three dialects,^ that of the east, used 
in the capital and intended to be the lingua franca of the 
Empire, that of the north-west, and that of the west. Of these 
the north-west preserves the most ancient aspect, for it retains 
the r element of the r vowel and r in consonantal groups, 
while the western dialect has a for r and assimilates, as in inago 
for ptfgaSy (i{i)th(i for artha^ and the eastern dialect has i ox u for 
r as well as a, and assimilates with cerebralization, as in a{t)tha 
for attha^ v(i{d)dhit(i for vardhita^ while in katci or kita for kTtu it 
shows cerebralization, suggesting an eastern origin for Sanskrit 
words with unusual cerebralization. The north-west dialect again 
preserves all three sibilants, though with departures from the 
norm due to assimilation, as in gagatici for gi^sana^ or dissimilation, 
as in sugrusa for gagrusd ; the eastern has s and so also the 
western, but in this case there are traces that the distinction 
longer prevailed, since rg in such a word as dargana seems to 
have been transformed to darsana, in which condition it cere- 
bralized the «, before assimilating rs to The authors of the 
Bhattiprolu inscriptions* in South-east India, seemingly colonists 
from the west, had a sound intermediate between g and ^ indicating 
the manner of the change. The north-west and the west again 

' New ed. E. HulUsch (1935) J dialects see Chaps. VI-XI. 

* Michelson, 284(1., 416 ff. ; xxxi.ssff.; JAOS. xxx. 77 ff. ; xxxi. 133(1.; 

xxxvi, 310 f. „ , «r O - 

» MicheUon, JAOS. xxxi. 336 f. ; LOders, SBA. 191 J, pp. 8o6ff. ; 1914, P- »43- 


agree against the east in assimilating iy to cc and to cch, 
against the representation of ty as Hy and the assimilation to 
kkh ; the east again is marked by the use of e for primitive az as 
against and by its rejection of r in favour of /. This eastern 
dialect may fairly be regarded as a forerunner of the Ardha- 
magadhl of the grammatical tradition, though that language has 
been largely affected by western influences in its later form. An 
inscription in a cave on the Ramgarh hill, probably of the second 
century B. c., reveals to us the precursor of the later Magadhi, 
since it shows its characteristics, e for o, I for kkh for ks, and 
p for 

Our next information of a definite character regarding the 
dialects is afforded not so much by the various inscriptions of the 
post-Afokan period as by the dramas of Afvaghosa, which may 
be regarded as good testimony for the period c. A. D. lOo. Here 
we find dialects which may justly be styled Old Ardhamagadhi, 
Old gaurasenl, and Old Magadhi ; of these the former may well 
have been the dialect in which, as tradition asserts, Mahavira 
preached his doctrines and established Jainism, and in which 
Buddhist teachers carried on their work.^ The early Jain 
scriptures, however, have admittedly perished, and the actual 
canon of the gJvetambaras now extant is redacted in a form 
strongly influenced by the later south-western speech Maharastrl, 
while later texts are written in what has been fairly called Jain 
Mahar^trl, and the Digambaras adopted under western influence 
what has been styled Jain ^aurasenl. The canonical language of 
Buddhism, on the other hand, is more ancient ; it is not, however, 
Ardhamagadhi, but is distinctly of a western type, perhaps 
morp closely connected with AvantI or Kaufambi than any other 
region. To the group of old Prakrits belongs also the mysterious 
Pai^acI, in which the famous Brhatkathd of Gunadhya was 
written ; its home is still uncertain ; it has been connected by 
Sir G. Grierson^ with the north-western dialect of the Afokan 
inscriptions on the one side and the modern languages of the 
north-west, which with dubious accuracy he has styled Pi9aca ; 
against this may be set, inter alia^ the fact that the north-western 

» Cf. Keith, IHQ. i. 501 flf. 

* Pisaca Lang., pp. i flf. ; ZDMG. Ixvi. 49 ff. ; JRAS. 1921, pp. 424 ff. ; lA. xlix. 
114; AMJV. i. Ii9flr. 


dialect of A9o1can times kept the three sibilants which Pai9aci 
reduces to one, although the Gipsy dialect and the dialects of 
the Hindu Kush distinguish still between s and f on the one 
hand and ( on the other.' The possession by Pai 95 ci of the 
letters I and /, and the use of one nasal « only, have been adduced 
by Konow® as proof of location in addition to its close con- 
nexion with Pali, and, as these features were preserved in modern 
Malvi, and its hardening of soft consonants is probably due to 
Dravidian influence, Pai9aci has been located in accord with 
Indian tradition in the Vindhya region. Inscriptions suggest 
also that south of the Narmada there was a measure of indepen- 
dent development, adding a south-western to the three great 
groups already known ; thus in the south we have duhutuya, 
dhua in the later Maharastri, pointing to the source of Ardhama- 
gadhl dhuyd, as opposed to the dhita of the northern inscriptions, 
Pali dhita, QaurasenI (beside duhida) and MagadhI dhtda, Vedic 
dhita beside the normal duhitd? 

The characteristics of these Old Prakrits are simple.^ Ihey 
include the loss of the vowels r and /, and of the diphthongs ai 
and au ; reduction in the number of sibilants and nasals ; and the 
assimilation of consonants. They show also the operation of 
the substitution of the expiratory for the musical accent, a feature 
which is obvious in Sanskrit during the same period. Further, 
they are subject to a most important law which reduces each 
syllable to the form either of a vowel, short or long, a short 
vowel followed by one or two consonants, or a long vowel 
followed by a single consonant ; the resulting changes of form 
are intensified by the confusion which results from substituting 
a long vowel with a single consonant for an originally short 
vowel with two consonants, or the use of a nasal vowel in lieu of 

1 Reichelt, Festschrift Str either p. 245. 

> ZDMG. Ixiv. 95 : JRAS. 19JI, pp. a 44 ff- ! cf. Ranganathaswami Aryavaraguni, 
lA. xlviii. ni f. Priyluski {La Ugendt dt tmptreur A^oka, p. 71) holds that Pill 
may have had relations with Kau9ambi. 

» Lflders, KZa xlix. 233 f. 

< LUders, Bruchstucke buddh. Dramen, pp. 29 ff. ; Keith, Sanskrit Drama, pp. 7 * «• 
Ssff, 121 flf. Contrast Michelson, AJP. xli. 265(1. ; Bloch, JA. 1911, ii. 167. In a 
Prakrit of the Western Panjab is composed the Dhammapada of the Dutrcuil de 
Rhins MS. ; Konow, Festschrift Windisch, pp. 85(1. (ist cent. A. D.) ; Liiders, SBA 
1914, pp. loi ff. (3rd cent. A. D.). 


a long vowel, or a short vowel and a consonant, when another 
consonant follows. 

It is probable enough that literature of a secular character was 
composed in these Old Prakrits until the second century A. D., 
but about that date we have clear evidence of the fundamental 
changes which mark what may be called the Middle Prakrit of 
the grammarians and of most of the extant literature. This 
consists in the softening or disappearance of intervocalic con- 
sonants, carried to the furthest in Maharastri in the dominions 
of the (^atavahanas of the south-west, but noteworthy also in the 
other Prakrits recognized by the grammarians, Magadhi, and 
Qauraseni. We see in the dramas of Bhasa, as compared with 
those of A^vaghosa on the one hand and of Kalidasa on the 
other, clear evidence of transition, the omission of intervocalic 
consonants, the softening of surds to sonants, the reduction of 
aspirates to h, the change o( y into j\ the substitution of n for n, 
the simplification of double consonants with compensatory 
lengthening. The evidence of inscriptions supports the view 
which assigns the loss of intervocalic consonants to the second 
century A. D.,^ in which century Maharastri lyric began its 
successful career, made known to us in the anthology of Hala. 
Once stereotyped by the grammarians at an uncertain date, the 
Prakrits rapidly lost in importance as they became more and 
more divorced from current speech, while they did not possess 
the traditional sanctity of i^anskrit or its clarity of structure and 
beauty of form. 

Of the Prakrits Maharastri held pre-eminence by its use in 
drama, whence it was introduced perhaps by Kalidasa from lyric 
poetry, and by its adoption for epic poetry. Qauraseni was 
normally the prose Prakrit, though it appears to have been 
occasionally used in verse ; its employment in prose outside the 
drama was probably once much wider than was later the case 
when the Jains used a form of Maharastri for prose as well as for 
verse, though the presence of Qauraseni forms in prose suggests 
that Maharastri is here intrusive.^ ^auraseni was markedly more 

^ Bloch, Milanges Livi^ pp. laff. {kamdroy however, is from karmdra). As 
regards lingualisation cf. Turner, JRAS. 1924, pp. 555ff-> 6^* idan 4 ay however, 
is not for dandra ; see Liddn, Stud. %. altind, und vergl, Sprachg.^ p, 80). 

* Jacobi, Bhavisatia Kaha^ pp. 88 ff. ; RSO. ii. 231 ff. 



closely akin to Sanskrit than Maharastrl ; its place of origin was 
within the sphere of the strongest influence of Sanskrit, and it 
remained in specially close relation with it both in morphology, 
syntax, and vocabulary. Hence it was appropriately used -for 
persons of good position in the drama. Magadhi, on the other 
hand, was reserved for those of low rank, and, though tales* 
were composed in it, it was of comparatively minor importance. 
The Ndtyagdstra, perhaps in the third century A. D., enumerates 
other dramatic dialects {vibhdsds) which are clearly of no real 
popular origin ; such are Daksinatya, Pracya, AvantI, and Dhakki 
or Takki, which are mere varieties of ^auraseni, while Candali 
and ^akarl are species of Magadhi.* Pai9aci, though practically 
unknown in the extant dramas, enjoyed, it appears, a consider- 
able vogue in the popular tale, as a result, doubtless, of the fame 
of the Brkatkathd. 

The comparatively late date at which Maharastri appears to 
have come into fame, as indicated by its exclusion until late 
from the drama, suggests that some other Prakrit was employed 
for poetry before its rise into repute. Jacobi has found traces of 
such a Prakrit in the verses cited in the Ndtyagdstra ; * it was 
marked by the facultative retention or change or loss of inter- 
vocalic consonants, and was akin on the one hand to gauraseni, 
for example in such forms as sadisa for sadrga and the gerund in 
iya, while it shared with Maharastrl the locative in ammi and the 
gerund in urn ; from these local indications he suggests that it 
had its cent.-e in Ujjayinl. It was, he holds, from this dialect 
that the softening oi t to d passed into Qauraseni, which in 
Acvaghosa hardly shows any trace of it, and also in the dialect, 
otherwise similar to Jain Maharastri, which on this account 
Pischel^ named Jain ^auraseni. This poetic Prakrit, like 
Qauraseni, is essentially closely akin to Sanskrit. 

' Probably in verse, like Maharastii and Apabhrahfa tales; Dan^in.ujS, Rudraja, 

xvi. S6. Danilin's Gaudi Prakrit may be Magadhi ; he meat. ons also Up. 

»Cf Keith Sanskrit Drama, pp. 140 <f., 337 : Gawronski, KZ. xhv. 247 ff. 
Iranian traits in 'gakati aie not proved (JRAS. 192.^. PP- m ff-) : *he pomts adduced 

all are essentially Magadhi (cf. rW, pp. ffO- 1 n „ Pali 

• Bhavisatta Kaha, pp. 84 ff. He does not touch on its relation to Pal. 

* Op. cit., 521. 

3 * 


5 . Apabhrah^a 

PischeP and Sir G. Grierson® have given currency to the 
view that the term Apabhran9a denotes the true vernacu- 
lars as opposed to literary Prakrits, and thd latter has con- 
structed a scheme for the derivation of modern vernaculars 
from the various local Apabhran9as; thus from ^aurasena 
(or Nagara) Apabhrah9a came Western Hindi, Rajasthani, 
and Gujarati ; from Maharastra Apabhrah9a Marathi ; from 
Magadha Bengali, Bihari, Assamese,, and Oriya; from Ardha- 
magadha Eastern Hindi ; from Vracada SindhI ; and from 
Kaikeya Lahnda. Unfortunately this theoretical scheme will 
not stand investigation, for the evidence of texts and even 
of the literature proves clearly that Apabhrah9a has a different 

The essential fact regarding Apabhran9a is that it is the 
collective term employed to denote literary languages not Sans- 
krit or Prakrit. Bhamaha * expressly gives this threefold division, 
and Dandin ® expressly says that Apabhran9a is the term applied 
to the idioms of the Abhiras, &c., when they appear in poetry. 
Guhasena of Valabhl, whose inscriptions have dates from 
A. D. 559-69, is declared to have composed poems in the three 
languages, San.skrit, Prakrit, and Apabhran9a. Rudrata,® in the 
ninth century, asserts that Apabhran9a is manifold through the 
difference of lands, doubtless in agreement with Dandin. ^ Hema- 
candra also does not identify Apabhran9a with the vernaculars. 
The vernacular {degabhasa) is a different thing; hetairai are 
required to be skilled in the eighteen vernaculars according to 
the Jain canon ; the Kdmasutra, in enumerating their sixty-four 
accomplishments, includes knowledge of vernaculars as well as 
of literary speeches {kdvyakriyS) moreover, it preserves the 

' Gramm, der Prakrit^Sprachen^ § 4, 

* BSOS. I. iii. 63 ff, ; cf. lA. li. 13 ff. 

* Jacobi, BhavisaUa Kaha^ pp. 53ff.; Sanatkumdracaritam^ pp. xviiiff. ; FtsU 
schrift Wackernageli pp. 1 34 ff. 

* i. 16. 

* i. 33. Nobel’s effort {Indian Poetry^ pp. 133, 159) to distinguish between 
Bhamaha’s and Dandiu’s use of Apabhrafi9a is a failure. 

* ii. 12, 


interesting notice that a man of taste would mingle his vernacular 
with Sanskrit, as is the way with modern vernaculars, not 
with Apabhrahfa. The identification of the vernaculars and 
Apabhran9a is given as the opinion of some authorities by the 
commentator of the Prdkrta Pingala, and other late authorities 
adopt this view. But the oldest authority who has been cited ' 
for it is the Kashmirian Ksemendra (nth cent.), and it is 
extremely doubtful whether he meant anything of the sort when 
he refers to poems in vernacular; it is as likely as not that in 
Kashmir, as probably in the case of Maharastra, Apabhran9a 
was never a literary language, vernacular poems supervening 
directly on Prakrit poetry. 

The first actual remnants of Apabhran^a preserved occur in 
a citation in Anandavardhana, in the Devtgataka, and in Rudra^a. 
By preserving r and r it is clear that these verses belong to the 
species of Prakrit styled by the eastern school of grammarians 
(Kramadifvara, Markandeya, Rama Tarkavagl9a) Vracata, which 
also is styled the speech of the Abhiras, This tribe appears to 
have entered India some time before 150 B. C., when it is 
mentioned by Patanjali. Its early home was Sindhude9a, by 
which is meant ^ not Sindh but the Peshawar district of the 
Rawalpindi division, where they had as eastern neighbours the 
Gurjaras.^ Later both tribes spread ; the Gurjaras are found as 
Gujars in the United Provinces ; in the main, however, they went 
south and occupied Gujarat. The Abhiras are recorded in the 
Mahdbharata as in the Panjab, later they are heard of in 
Kuruksetra, and their descendants, the Ahirs, range as far east as 
Bihar ; some went south and settled on the coast to the west of 
Gujarat ; they won considerable fame, and an Abhira dynasty is 
stated in the Vignu Purdna to have succeeded the Andhrabhrtyas. 
Both Abhiras and Gurjaras were probably of the Dardic branch 
of the Indian race, to judge at least from the strong Dardic 

1 Jacobi, Bhavisatta Kaka, p. 69, corrected p. 214. 

* Jacobi, Festschrift Wackema^el, p. 134, n. 2 ; cf. Raghuvaiu^a, xv. 87, 89. See 
Mahdkhasyat i. a. 73, v. 6. 

» See references in EHT. pp. 427 ff.; R. C. Majumdar, The Gurjara- Pratihdras 
(1923). The view of them as Khazars or Huns is unproved, and their earliest dale 
unknown, but Alexander did not find them in the Panjab. Cf. Grierson, lA. xliii. 
141 ff., 159 ff. 




element in Lahnda, the speech of the western Panjab. As they 
grew in civilization, they must have sought to create a literature ; 
whether they attempted it in their own dialect at first and later 
produced Apabhrari9a must remain uncertain; what is clear is 
that Apabhranfa originally was an effort to infuse into Prakrit 
a measure of their vernacular. 

The effort to make Prakrit more readily intelligible to the 
people was not new; in the earliest epic in Jain Maharastri 
known to us, the Panniacariya^ of Vimala Suri, probably not 
before A. D. 300, we find the free use of what the grammarians 
style De^i^abdas, words for which no derivation from Sanskrit 
is obvious or normally possible ; similarly it seems that Padalipta’s 
Tarahgavati, mentioned in the Anuyogadvara (5th cent.), though 
written in Prakrit, contained very many of such words. The 
large number of De^I terms preserved in the Deglndmamdld of 
Hemacandra, some four thousand in all, testifies to the prevalence 
at one time of this practice, which, however, failed to retain 
favour. The reason for this may easily be conjectured ; the 
words taken from the vernaculars were a barrier to comprehension 
in a wide circle, and with the rapid change of the vernaculars 
became obscure even in the poet’s own land, so that poets who 
desired permanence of repute and wide circles of readers pre- 
ferred to content themselves with those terms which had general 
currency. In Apabhrafuja, however, the effort was made to 
simplify Prakrit by adopting as the base of the grammar the 
vernacular, while using in the main the Prakrit vocabulary, and 
to some extent also Prakrit inflexions. There is a certain 
parallel with modern vernaculars which borrow freely from 
Sanskrit as opposed to Prakrit, but they do not use Sanskrit 
inflexions at all. 

The Prakrit used as the base of early Apabhran5a seems to 
have been often Maharastri, but sometimes also ^aurasenl. But 
once Apabhran9a had become popular, perhaps through the 
activity of the Abhira and Gurjara princes, it spread beyond the 
west and various local Apabhran9as arose, as is recognized by 
Rudrata ; in these, we may assume, the special characteristics of 
the Vracata or Vrajada Apabhran9a were refined. We find this 

’ Jacobi, ERE, vii, 467. 


confused condition reflected in the grammarians. Hemacandra, 
who belonged to the western school which goes back to the 
Vdlmiki Sutras, describes one kind of Apabhrah9a, but alludes 
to others; in the eastern school we find a division as Viacata, 
Nagara, and Upanagara, in all of which r after consonants is 
kept while in the first r before consonants also. Faint traces of 
the observance of this rule may be found in a few verses cited by 
Hemacandra ; the great poems, Bhavisattakaha and Nemindha- 
cariu assimilate r, and thus belong to a later type of Apabhran9a. 
In Bengal we find a type of Apabhran9a long in use in Buddhist 
texts, and a much degraded form, Avahattha, is evidenced in 
the Prdkrta Ping ala (14th cent.), but the basis even of this 
Apabhran9a is Maharastrl, not Magadhi, testifying to its ultimate 
western origin. 

From the nature of Apabhran9a it follows naturally that in 
Old Gujarati we find a considerable amount of resemblance in 
inflexion to Apabhran9a, as was to be expected from the fact 
that the vernacular is a descendant in considerable measure of 
that vernacular which was applied to Prakrit to form the early 
Apabhran9a. In other cases we could not expect to find any 
such important coincidences ; thus in Bengal the Apaf)hran9a 
used was not formed by applying vernacular inflexions to the 
local Prakrit ; at most some local colour was given to a speech 
which came from the west, and the same remark clearly applies 
in other cases. Sir G. Grierson’s efforts^ to establish a Maha- 
rastra Apabhrah9a as a connecting link between Prakrit and 
Marathi are clearly unsuccessful. Nor indeed, it must be added* 
is there yet any adequate proof even of the relations suggested 
by him between the Prakrits and the vernaculars ; * thus traces 
of Magadhi in Bengali are extremely difficult to establish with 
any cogency.® 

There is no reason to suppose that Apabhran9a formed 
a necessary step towards composition in vernaculars, and in 
Maharastra and Kashmir Apabhran9a appears to have been 

1 BSOS. I. iii. 63. 

* E.g. his view (JRAS. 1925, pp. 228 ff.) as to single consonants in the North-West 
Prakrit is clearly improbable. 

* M. Shahidullah, IHQ. i. 433 ff. Bloch {Formation de la longue marathe\ JA. 
19*3, i- 33 ^) insiits that the modem dialects presuppose a Prakrit koine. 

D % 


unknown, while in the latter region vernacular poetry appears to 
have been practised in the eleventh century. Literary evidence 
of compositions in the vernaculars is fragmentary, but at least 
from the twelfth century there was a Hindi literature, from the 
thirteenth one in Marathi, and probably enough still earlier dates 
may be assigned to the adaptation of vernaculars to literary 

* For Bengal sec Dincsh Chandra Sen, Hist, of Bengal Lang, and LiU (*911) and 
S. K. Chatterji, i. 129 fT. 





I. The Sources of the Kdvya 

I NDIA produced no historian of her Sanskrit literature, and, 
naturally enough, the appearance of great poets of the calibre 
of Kalidasa, Bharavi, and Magha so eclipsed earlier efforts 
that their works and even their names passed into oblivion. 
Natural causes helped the result ; it was difficult to multiply 
manuscripts, difficult to preserve them, and it is not surprising 
that the lesser poets should have passed from recollection. On 
the other hand, the absence of literary remains for the centuries 
just before and after the Christian era, and the fact that foreign 
invasions, Greeks, Parthians, and Qakas, and Yueh-chi deeply 
affected the north-west of India, gave an appearance of reason to 
Max Muller’s famous suggestion ' that there was a comparative 
cessation of literary activity in India until in the sixth century 
a great renaissance began with Kalidasa and his contemporaries. 
The theory is now wholly discredited in the form in which it was 
put forward, if for no other reason than that it ignored the Brah- 
manical revival of the Gupta empire at the beginning of the fourth 
century A. D. But it lingers on in the form of the suggestion ^ 
that in the period up to that revival Sanskrit was little used for 
secular poetry, which was composed in Prakrit, until the reviving 
power of the Brahmins resulted in their creating the epic by 
translation from Prakrit originals, developed a lyric poetry to 
replace the simpler Prakrit songs of the people, and transformed 
the popular beast-fable and fairy-tale. 

For this theory of a Prakrit period of Indian literature preced- 

1 India (1883), pp. 281 (T. Contrast Lassen, Ind, A/L, ii.* ii 59 ^- 
» Bhandarkar, Early HisL of India (1920), pp. 70 ff., who admits the existence of 
some Sanskrit literature, but places A9vaghosa under Kaniska r. A. D. 300. But 
as early as 185 B. c. thcie was a Bralimanical revival under Pusyamiira; LIII. 
pp. 208 ff. ; Przyluski, La Ugendo de Vcmpercur A^oka, pp. 90 ff. 


ing the Sanskrit period there is no evidence of value. The sug- 
gestion of the translation of the epic may be dismissed as absurd, 
but the case with other forms of literature is more worthy of 
consideration. The fairy-tale is a thing which readily circulates 
among the people long before it is dignified by literary treatment 
by the higher classes of society, and in point of fact there is 
a strong tradition to the effect that it was in a Prakrit dialect, 
though one closely allied to Sanskrit, that the great collection of 
such tales, which powerfully affected Sanskrit literature, as the 
Brhatkathd of Gunadhya, was composed. Gunadhya’s work, 
however, is of very complex art and uncertain date, and in all 
probability came into being at a time when we have abundant 
evidence of the existence of Sanskrit literature, so that this 
instance is irrelevant to the contention in favour of a Prakrit 
period of literature. Equally little value attaches to the argu- 
ment for the priority of Prakrit lyric. It was founded on a wholly 
misleading view of the antiquity of the anthology of Hala, who 
was placed in the first century A. D. Against this view must be 
set the form of Maharastii Prakrit, which shows a development in 
the language such as cannot be dated before the latter part of the 
second century A.D., if regard be paid to the evidence of the 
inscriptions and of the Prakrits of the dramas of A9vaghosa.^ It 
is true that Vararuci’s Prakrit grammar recognizes Maharas^rl of 
the type of the anthology, but there is no evidence that Vararuci 
is early in date, for his identification by later tradition with the 
Katyayana who criticized Panini is without serious value. 
Jacobi,^ on the other hand, has identified Hala with the Satava- 
hana under whom Jain tradition records a change in the Church 
calendar in A.D. 467. There is no cogent reason to accept or 
deny this date ; what is clear is that so far as the evidence goes 
there is nothing to suggest great antiquity for Prakrit lyric. 
Lviders, who finds traces of its existence about the second cen- 
tury B.C. in the short inscriptions of the Sitabenga and Jogl- 
mara caves on the Ramgarh hill, and who assigns to the same 

^ Bruchstuckc huddh, Dramm^ pp. 61 ff. On the Sitlbenga inscr, cf. Boyer, 
Milanges Lh/i^ pp. ui ff. Kharavela’s date is still disputed. 

’ Ausg, Erzdhlungen in Mdhdrdshtrf^ p. xvii ; cf. Bhamisatia Kaha, p. 83. The 
Paumacariya of Vlmala Sflri, the oldest Mahadlst^ Is not before A. D. 300 and 
may be much later (cf. ibid.^ p. 59). 


century the Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela of Kaliilga, 
which displays, though faintly, some of the characteristics of 
Sanskrit prose Kavya, makes no claim for the priority of Prakrit 
to Sanskrit in these literary uses ; on the contrary he acknow- 
ledges fully the coexistence of a Sanskrit literature. 

Still less can be said for the priority of Prakrit in the sphere of 
the beast-fable. Such fables are readily current among the people, 
and the Mahdbhdrata shows their popularity in the circles to 
whom the epic appealed. The Jataka tales of the Buddhists 
show likewise the skill by which they could be turned to the 
service of that faith, but of an early Prakrit fable literature we 
know little or nothing. On the other hand, the Sanskrit litera- 
ture is marked by the fact that it adopts the fable to a definite 
purpose, the teaching to young princes and their entourage the 
practical conduct of life, and thus constitutes a new literary 

The causes of the rise of Sanskrit literature are in fact obvious, 
and there was no need for writers in Prakrit to set an example. 
It would indeed have been surprising if the simplicity of the 
earlier epic had not gradually yielded to greater art. The 
Upanisads show us kings patronizing discussions between rival 
philosophers and rewarding richly the successful ; we need not 
doubt that they were no less eager to listen to panegyrics of 
themselves or their race and to bestow guerdon not less lavishly. 
We have indeed in the Vedic lists of forms of literature refer- 
ences to the Nara^aiisls, encomia,' which candour admitted to 
be full of lies, and we have actually preserved a few verses from 
which we can guess the high praise promiscuously bestowed on 
their patrons by the singers. Into the Rgvcda itself have been 
admitted hymns which contrive to flatter patrons as well as extol 
the gods, and added verses, styled praises of gifts (danastutis), 
recount the enormous rewards which a clever singer might obtain. 
We cannot doubt that from such contests must have sprung the 
desire to achieve ever-iacr^asing perfection of literary form as 
compared with the more pedestrian style of the mere narrative 
of the epic. 

In yet another sphere such heightening of style must have 

' Macdonell and Keith, Vedic IndeXy i. 445 

, 0 K. 0 ,. rtn 

b«»ra to » !«='. ^”i, it doubtM that It »M th' »rly 



_ he worthily developed. The g specimens natur 

aL>,« erUmn- hat and the elaboration of 

X, hated in the eultivation »' J„a„g »,ite.a toaeek o 


rfe w.««> o/iic *"77 
The validity of the Rimayafa ,he poem « 

the Kavya has been disputed o constan 

^en ifin large meas^e early the later 

revision, so that those features m first of 

Kavya and justify its own ,,,ions. The argument 

Kavyas may be " 'nd does not establish the 

^ mi- is clearly unsatisfactoiy, -„ree that some part 

however, is cieany tnay readily agree inav , . 

result at which it aims. ® ^hi^h mark the 

at least of the elegancies of style wh these 

Xbon. but tern “ “O^Xetnd ot.»-y».c., and they may 
additions tall laKt t a r„„b....b.-“<'>'’‘'” 

1 HiTZcl, GUichnisse rata^tha Brdhmana, i. v' a^iSff.)* 

““.KdiMaaa-'S'hPaP'Ji, vb. *irii.'’'J«"a^*'" 

. ,««. .Hu .i»ns .““t 


DC earlier in date. The Rdntdyana in fact, as we have it, affords 
an illu.stration of the process of refinement which style was under- 
going, but it is essential to realize that even in its original form 
the poem must have shown a distinct tendency to conscious 
ornament. The mere theme, the blending together of two 
distinct legends, the court intrigues of Ayodhya and the legend 
of Rama’s war on Ravana for the rape of Sita — in ultimate 
origin a nature myth — is the work of an artist, and the same trait 
is revealed in the uniformity of the language and the delicate 
perfection of the metre, when compared with the simpler and less 
polished Mahdbhdrata. Valmiki and those who improved on 
him, probably in the period 400-200 B.C., are clearly the legiti- 
mate ancestors of the court epic. ^ 

Anandavardhana * has not inaptly contrasted the object of the 
court epic with that of the legend {tiihdsa ) ; the latter is content 
to narrate what has happened, the former is essentially depen- 
dent on form. The Rdntdyana occupies an intermediate place, 
and its formal merits are not slight. But in any case it essenti- 
ally anticipates the means by which the later poets seek to lend 
distinction and charm to their subject-matter; as they drew 
deeply upon it for their themes, so they found in it the models 
for the ornaments of their style. If the city of Ayodhya appears 
in human form to the king in Kalidasa’s Raghuvaitga, Valmiki 
has set the example in his vision of Lanka in the Sundarakanda. 
The action in the later Kavya is all but obstructed by the wealth 
of the poet’s descriptive powers ; Valmiki’s followers have de- 
scribed with no less than twenty-nine similes the woes of Sita in 
her captivity, with sixteen the sad plight of Ayodhya bereft ot 
Rama.* Descriptions of the seasons, of mountains and rivers, 
bulk largely in the Kavya, but Valmiki has set the example in 
his elaborate accounts of the rainy season and autumn, of the 
winter, of Mount Citrakuta, and of the river Mandakinl.* Meta- 
phors of beauty abound in the Kavya side by side with those of 
strained taste and pointless wit ; the Rdmdyana is guilty of 

visadanakrddhyusite paritrdsor m i indlini 

kint math na trdyase viagndni vipide gokasdgare ? 

^ Dhvanydlokaj^. 148. * ik 19 and 114. 

» iv. 28 ; iii. 16 ; ii. 94, 95. There is a brilliant picture of the sound of the sea ; 
paruasudirnavegasya sdgarasyeva nihsvafiah. 


‘Why dost thou not save me that am sunk in a broad ocean of 
woe, whose coronal of waves is horror, and in which dwell the 
crocodiles of despondency ? ’ 

Much happier is the famous simile : 

sdgaravt cdntbaraprakhyam ambaruth sdgaropcLtHCitn 
Rdmardvanayor yuddhaik Rdmardvanayor iva, 

* Ocean peer of sky, sky ocean*s counterpart ; Rama and Ravana 
alone could match their mortal combat/ A later commonplace 
is foreshadowed in : 

ivdm krtvoparato manye rupakartd sa vigvakft 
na hi rupopamd hy anyd tavdsii gubhadargane. 

‘ When he had made thee, I ween, the All-maker stayed from his 
making of lovely forms, for there is no beauty on earth to match 
thine, o fair-faced one/ As later, we find as prognostications of 
good the wind that blows free from dust, the clear skies, the 
flowers that are rained down to earth, and the resonance of the 
drums of the gods. Indra’s banner, erected and then taken down 
at the festival in his honour, affords material for similes ; eyes 
expand with joy {har^otphullanayand) ; men drink in faces with 
their eyes {locandbhydm pibann ivci) \ breasts are like golden 
bowls (kucau suvarnakalagopatnau) ; before men's wondering 
eyes the host stands as if in a picture ; the Ganges shows her 
white teeth as she smiles in the foam of her waves {phenanirma- 
lakdsint) ; winds blow with fragrant coolness ; the clouds rumble 
with deep and pleasant sound {snigdkagambhtragho^a) the 
action of the fool is like that of the moth that flies into the 
flame ; man leaves his worn frame as the snake its old skin. 
The love of alliteration is already present, as in dak^ind dak^inam 
tiram ; we find even an example of the figure, concise expres- 
sion (samdsokti)^ in which the dawn is treated on the analogy of 
a loving maiden ; 

aho rdgavati samdhya jahdtu svayam ambaram* 

* Ah that the enamoured twilight should lay aside her garmfent 
of sky, now that the stars are quickened to life by the touch of 
the rays of the dancing moon.' The Rdntdyana te not given to 
erotic descriptions ; its tone is serious and grave, hut such pas- 


sages » as the description of the vision by Hanumant of the sleep- 
ing wives of Ravana mark the beginning of a tradition which 
A^vaghosa handed on to his successors. Imitation in detail of 
the Rdmdyamz is frequent and patent, and its language and verse 
technique deeply affected the whole of the history of the Kavya. 

The content of the Mahdbhdrata naturally afforded to later 
poets an inexhaustible material for their labours, but save in its 
later additions the great epic suffered little elaboration of style, 
and affords no evidence comparable to that of the Rdmdyana 
attesting the development of the Kavya style. 

3 , The Evidence of Pat anjali and PJngala 

Direct and conclusive evidence of the production of secular 
Sanskrit literature before 150 b.c. is afforded by the testimony 
oi Makdbhdsya.^ Much earlier evidence from the point of 
view of grammar would be available, if we could believe the 
assertion ^ of Raja9ekhara — perhaps the dramatist — that Panini 
was the author not merely of the grammar but also of the Jamba- 
vaiivijaya ; that epic and apparently another, the Pdtdlavijaya, 
are ascribed to him by anthologies which cite verses from them. 
The fact, however, that grammatical errors occur in a verse from 
the latter work renders the ascription implausible, even if epic 
excuse can be alleged, and we may reasonably accept the exis- 
tence of two or more Paninis, despite the rarity of the name. 

The testimony of the Mahdbkdsya^ however, is quite clear, and 
its value is all the greater because it is given incidentally and by 
accident in the discussion of disputed rules of the master. Patan- 
jali, of course, knows the Bharatan epic, but he refers also to 
dramatic recitals of epic legends — perhaps to actual dramatic 
performances — and the topics mentioned include the slaying by 
Krsna of his wicked uncle Kahsa and the binding of Bali by the 
god Visnu. We are told of rhapsodes who tell their tales until 
the day dawns, and stories were current which dealt with the 

^ Not probably by Valmiki. For Vedic precedents in alliteration and Yamakas see 
Hillebrandt, Kalidasa^ pp. 161 ff. ; for the epic, Hopkins, Great Epic^ pp. 200 flf. 

• Cf. Weber. IS. xiii. 356 ff., 477 flf. ; Kielhoin, lA. xiv. 326 f.; Buhler, Die indi* 
schen Imchriften^ P» 7 ^ ; Bhandarkar, I A. iii. 14. 

• See Thomas, Kavindravacanasamuccaya^ pp. 51 ff. 


legends of Yavakrita, Yayati, Priyangu, Vasavadatla, Sumanot- 
tara, and Bhimaratha. A Vararuca Kavya is actually mentioned, 
though unfortunately we know no more of it. We have, how- 
ever, invaluable help in appreciating the growth of Kavya in the 
incidental citation of stanzas clearly taken from poems of the 
classical type. Many are tantalizing in their brevity ; we hear of 
a maiden bought with a price who was dearer to her lord than his 
life {sd hi tasya dhanakrltd prdnebhyo 'pi gartyasl). The verse 
varaianu sampravadanti kukkutdky ‘ 0 fair one, the cocks pro- 
claim together \ has afforded later authors an opportunity of 
exhibiting skill in filling up the missing three verses {samasyd- 
pur ana)} Erotic verse is attested also by priydm mayurah 
praiinarnrtliiy ‘ The peacock danceth towards his beloved 
perhaps also by a vandntdd odakdntdt priyam pdntham a7itivrajet, 

* Let her follow the wanderer she loveth to the end of the woods, 
to the end of the waters *. Epic or panegyric is found in the 
address prathate tvayd patiinati prthivi, ‘ The earth with thee as 
lord maketh true its name as wide ' ; so also asidvitlyo 'nusdra 
Pdndavam, ‘ With sword as mate he attacked Paridu's son *, 
jqghdna Kahsafh kila Vdsudevah^ * Vasudeva slew Kansa.* 
Brief as it is, there is pathos in 

yasmin daga sahasrdni putre jdte gavdtk dadau 
brdhmanebhyak priydkhyebhyah so 'yam uhchena jivatu 
‘ On his scanty gleaning now he liveth, he for whose birth were 
given ten thousand kine to the Brahmins who brought the good 

Gnomic poetry is also strongly represented : 

tapah grutam cayonig cety etad brdhmanakdrakam 
tapahgrutdbhydm yo hino jdtibrdhmana eva sah, 
‘Asceticism, learning, birth, these make the Brahmin; he who 
lacks asceticism and learning is a Brahmin by birth alone.* Or 
again, bubhuksitam na pratibhdii kimcit^ ‘ Nothing seems right to 
a hungry man.* Solomon's maxim regarding the education of 
children has a worthy parallel : 

sdmrtaih pdnibhir ghnanti gtiravo ua visoksitaih 
Iddandgrayino ^ dosds tddandgrayino gundh. 

' See Chap. IX, $ i. 

* Cf. the forms in Festschrift Wcsckernagel^ p. 303. 


' Fraught with life, not with poison, are the blows that teachers 
give ; vice grows by indulgence, virtue prospers by reproof.* 
The inevitability of death is recorded : 

ahar ahar nayamdno gam agvam piirusam pagum 
Vaivasvato na trpyati surayd iva durmadl, 

‘ Though day by day he takes his toll in cattle, horses, men, and 
beasts, Vivasvant*s son is sated never, as a drunkard is never 
wearied of brandy.* A maxim of political wisdom may be 
seen in 

kseme subhikse krtasamcaydni : purdni rdjndm vinayanti kopam, 

* Citadels well stored in peace and abundance calm the wrath of 

Noteworthy also is the fact that in the scanty number of verses 
there occur specimens of such ornate metres as the Malatl, the 
Praharsim, the Pramitaksara, and the Vasantatilaka, beside the 
normal ^loka and Tristubh. These new metres lead us into 
a different sphere from the Vedic metres, and striking light on 
this development is afforded by the metre of the Karikas,^ 
mostly, if not all, written probably by predecessors of Patanjali, 
which deal with disputed points of grammar. Among these are 
besides the (^loka and Vaktra, Indravajra, Upajati, Qalini, Vah- 
5astha,all later usual, and the much less common metres, SamanI, 
consisting of four verses each of four trochees, Vidyunmala, 
similarly made up of spondees, the anapaestic Totaka, and the 
Dodhaka, in which the verse has three dactyls and a spondee. 
This richness and elaboration of metre, in striking contrast to the 
comparative freedom of Vedic and epic literature, must certainly 
have arisen from poetical use ; it cannot have been invented for 
grammatical memorial verses, for which a simple metre might 
better suffice. The names Totaka and Dodhaka have been sus- 
pected of Prakritic origin, and the latter of ultimate Greek 
origin, but these are unproved hypotheses without literary or 
other support. 

In addition to the clear indications thus given of the existence 
of epic, lyric, and gnomic verse, we may deduce from other hints 
the existence of the material whence later developed the beast- 

' Cf. Kielhom, lA. xv. a29ff.; Jacobi, Festschrift Wacktrnagd^ p. 127. 

fable. We have allusions^ to such proverbial tales as that of 
the goat and the razor {ajdkrpdniya)^ of the crow and the palm 
fruit {kdkatdHya), and to the hereditary enmity of the snake and 
the ichneumon, and of the crow and the owl, later famous as 
the theme of a book of the Pahcatantra. 

Corroboration of the evidence of Patanjali can be obtained 
from the ChandassUtra of Pingala, which ranks as a Vedahga 
but is mainly devoted to the exposition of secular prosody. 
Pingala ranks as an ancient sage, being sometimes identified 
with Patanjali ; the aspect of his work suggests considerable age, 
and many of the metres which he describes are certainly not de- 
rived from the Kavya literature which has come down to us: 
They suggest a period of transition in which the authors of the 
erotic lyric* were trying experiment after experiment in metrical 
effect. The names of the metres can often most plausibly be ex- 
plained as epithets of the beloved ; the stanzas may have been 
so styled because the word in question occurred in them. Thu§ 
we have the metre Kantotpida, the plague of her lovers, Ku^ila- 
gati, she of crooked gait, Cancalaksika, she of the glancing eyes, 
Tanumadhya, she of the slender waist, Caruhasini, the sweet- 
smiling one, and Vasantatilaka, the pride of spring. Other 
names suggest poetic observation of animal life ; thus we have 
A^valalita, the gait of the horse, Kokilaka, the cry of the cuckoo, 
Sinhonnata, tall as a lion, ^ardulavikrldita, the tiger’s play. The 
plant world gives others as Manjarl, the cluster. Mala, the garland. 
That a strong school of lyric poetry existed about the Christian 
era and probably much earlier we cannot seriously doubt ; to its 
influence we may with reason ascribe the appearance and bloom 
of the Maharas^rl lyric about A.D. 200. 

4 . Kavya in Inscriptions 

Chance has preserved for us certain evidence in the early in- 
scriptions * which disposes definitely of the theory of the dormancy 
of Sanskrit during the period of foreign invasions in India. An 
inscription at Girnar ^ dated about A. D. 150-2 under the Maha- 

' Mahahha^a^ ii. 1. 3; v. 3. 106 ; IS. xiii. 4S6. 

* Jacobi, Z*DMG, xxxviii. 615!. 

* Biihler, Die indischen Inschriflen und das Alter der indischen Kunstpoesie (1890). 

* El. viii. 36 ff. ; EHI. pp. 139 f. ; lA. xlviii. 145 f. 



ksatrapa Rudradaman, grandson of the Ksatrapa Cast;ana, known 
to Ptolemy as Tiastanes of Ozene, UjjayinI, is written in prose 
{gadyam kdvyam) and shows in a most interesting manner the 
development from the simple epic style to that of the Kavya. 
Grammar is obeyed, but epic licence is found ; patina^ for patyd^ 
is thus explained, and viqaduttardni is a Prakritism for viiicad-, 
which the epic, though not the grammar, permits ; epic again is 
the pleonasm in Parjanyena ekdrnabhutdydm iva prtkivydm 
kridydm, ‘ when the storm had turned as it were all earth to 
ocean *. But in anyatra sawgrdmesu^ ‘ save in battles we have 
a pure error. From the epic style a distinct departure is made in 
the use of compounds ; Dandin, doubtless following earlier 
authority, bids them be used freely in prose, and approves of 
their being long. The inscription prefers compounds to simple 
words, and at the beginning presents us with a compound of nine 
words with twenty-three syllables ; the description of the king 
produces even a finer effort of seventeen words of forty syllables. 
The length of the sentences vies with that of the compounds ; 
one attains twenty-three 'Granthas, each of thirty-two syllables. 
Of the 'figures of sound (gabddlamkdras) alliteration is freely used 
as in abhyastandmno Rudraddtnno^ sometimes with real effect. 
Of figures of sense {arthdlamkdras) one simile compares in the 
later manner the curtain wall of a reservoir to a mountain spur 
in the Kavya phrase parvaiapratisparddhi. The description, if 
•never of a very high order, displays some merit, especially in the 
vivid picture of the destruction by flooding of the dam of the 
reservoir. But what is far more important is that the author 
thinks it fit to ascribe to the king the writing of poems in both 
prose and verse ; flattery or not, it was obviously not absurd to 
ascribe to a Ksatrapa, of foreign extraction, skill in Sanskrit 
poetry. Moreover, the poems are qualified by a string of 
epithets as adorned by the qualities of simplicity, clearness, 
sweetness, variety, beauty, and elevation arising from the use of 
conventional poetic terminology {sphutalaghumadhuracitrakania- 
gabdasamayoddrdlamkrta). The term alamkrta points unmis- 
takably to the author’s acquaintance with a science of poetics 
prescribing the ornaments of poetry, and a comparison with the 
merits ascribed by Dandin^ to the Vaidarbha style which he 

^ KavyadarfUf i. 40 ff. See below, chap, xviii, § a. 




admires is decidedly instructive. Simplicity and clearness may 
well be equivalent to the arthavyakti and prasada which he 
mentions ; sweetness is his madhurya which includes richness in 
tasteful sound and sense {rasavcit) ; variety is probably akin to 
the strength or force {ojas) prescribed by Dandin, and he recog- 
nizes that in the view of some authorities elevation was induced 
by the use of the stock terms of poets such as kriddsaras, a lake 
for sport. 

The evidence of this inscription is confirmed and strengthened 
by that derivable from a record * of Siri Pujumayi at Nasik, 
written in Prakrit prose. There can be no doubt of the familiarity 
of the writer with Sanskrit ; it is even possible that he wrote his 
text in that language and then, in order to comply with the 
usage of the day, rendered it into Prakrit for purposes oi 
publication. Siri Pujumayi may be identified with Siro-Polemaios 
of Baithana, Pratisthana on the Godavari, of Ptolemy and the 
date of the inscription is not far removed from that of the Girnar 
record. It begins with an enormous sentence of eight and a half 
lines, long compounds fill lines a— 6, then a brief rest is given by 
the insertion of short words, and the whole ends with a compound 
of sixteen words and forty-three syllables. This is deliberate art, 
however little we may admire it, and the same technique is found 
in Bana, used perhaps with greater skill. Alliteration is freely 
used , the queen is fnakudevt tKtxhdTdjwtndid wdhdTdjctpcitdpiuht, 
What, however, is specially interesting is the appearance of 
mannerisms of the later Kavya, used in a way which implies 
current familiarity with the themes. Thus the king is of like 
strength with the mountains Himavant, Meru, and Mandara, 
a brief allusion to the view that the king, like the Himalaya,' 
possesses abundant treasures, like Meru is the centre of the 
world and overshadows it with his might, and, like Mandara, 
which the gods used as their churning stick when they churned 
the ocean, can produce and preserve LaksmI, the for tuna regim. 
The king again is compared with the heroes of the epic in 
a manner which preludes the frequent use of this theme made 
by Subandhu and Bana. Finally, he is described as winning 

> El. viii. 6ofr. ; S. Livi, CinquanUnaire de FhoU pratique des Hautes Atudes 

(ipai), pp. 91 ff.. who holds that ite hero Gotamiputa’s. death in victory is 
described a ^ 

kAvya in inscriptions 51 

victory in a battle in which in wondrous wise the Wind. Garuda, 
^Siddhas. Yaksas, Raksasas, Vidyadharas, Bhutas. Gandharvas, 
Caranas, the sun, the moon, the Naksatras, and the planets take 
part. Thus early we find that confusion of the mortal and 
the supernatural which induces an alleged historian like Bilhana 
to allow ^iva to intervene when needed in the fate of his patron. 

There can be no doubt from these inscriptions of the existence 
of Sanskrit Kavya, and doubtless also of a science of poetics 
among the Brahmins.^ It is, therefore, accident only which has 
preserved Buddhist works like those of A9vaghosa as the earliest 
specimens of the Kavya. Moreover there is a simple explanation 
of the accident ; A 9 vaghosa was one of the great names of 
Buddhism ; no one arose to surpass his achievement in depicting 
the life of the Buddha, whereas the glory of earlier poets was 
eclipsed by that of Kalidasa. Nor is this mere theory ; we 
know in fact that of the predecessors in drama enumerated by 
Kalidasa himself the works of all save one are lost, apparently 

5 . The Kdmasutra and the Poet's Mi/ieti, 

Vatsyayana’s Kdmasutra ^ is of uncertain date, but it is not 
improbably older than Kalidasa, and in any case it represents 
the concentrated essence of earlier tieatises on the Ars Amoris. 
There is no question of the importance of knowledge of this topic 
for the writers of erotic poetry, and there is abundant proof that 
the Kdmasutra was studied as eagerly by would-be poets as were 
grammar, poetics, and lexicography. To Vatsyayana we owe 
a vivid conception of the Indian parallel to the man about town 
(ndgaraka) whose existence was due to the growing elaboration 
of Indian life, and whose interest the poet was anxious to pro- 
pitiate. We see him,'* opulent, a denizen of the town which lends 
him his name, or, if compelled by adverse fortune to vegetate in 

* The use of compounds in ornamental epithets appears to have been much pro- 
moted by their convenience in eulogies of kings, places, &c., in inscriptions, just as in 
Jain texts they arc heaped up in stock descriptions. 

* See below, chap, xxiv ; cf. Haraprasad, Magadhan Literature^ chap. iv. On the 
arts, Kalis, sixty-four in number at least, of early India, see A. Venkatasubbiah and 
E. Muller, JRAS. 1914, pp. 355-67. 

* The comm, allows him to be of any caste. 

E a 


the country, seeking, like Martial in his retreat from Rome, to 
find congenial society with which to continue the pleasures of his. ^ 
town life. His home boasts all the luxury of the age, soft couches, 
a summer house in a park, seats strewn with flowers, and swings 
to amuse the ladies who share and lend zest to his leisure 
moments. Much of his time is devoted to his toilet ; he must 
bathe, be anointed, perfumed, and garlanded ; then he can teach 
the cage birds which surround him to speak, or enjoy the brutal 
spectacle of ram or cock fights, both favourite amusements of the 
gilded youth of the period. Or, in the company of ladies of the 
demi-monde, he may visit the parks outside the town, returning 
home crowned with the flowers which they have plucked. There 
are concerts to be attended, ballets and theatrical spectacles to 
be visited ; he has a lute beside him so that he may make music ' 
when he will, and a book to read at leisure. Boon companions 
and hangers-on of various ranks, the Vitas, Pithamardas, and 
Vidusakas of the texts, are essential to his happiness, and 
drinking parties are not unknown, but the ideal forbids mere 
rude licence ; even in his enjoyments the man about town aims 
at elegance, moderation, and a measure of dignity. He con- 
descends to the use of the vernacular, but blends it with Sanskrit, 
thus indicating his fine culture. Hetairai are essential to him, 
but they also are not without accomplishments ; indeed the 
Kdmasutra demands from them knowledge encyclopaedic, in- 
cluding poetic taste. The most famous of them achieved great 
riches, as we learn from the description of the palace of the 
heroine in the Mrcchakatikd and, as in the Athens of Perikles, 
discussions on literature, music, and art, must often have afforded 
the participants a pleasure which could not be expected from 
their own wives, from whom they demanded children and care for 
their homes. 

An atmosphere of this kind is unquestionably favourable, if 
not to the highest poetry, at least to the production of elaborate 
verse, and the care demanded from those w^ho are exposed to 
keen criticism cannot but produce excellent results in the case of 
men naturally gifted, though on the other hand it leads to ex- 
aggerated love of style with inevitable tasteless extravagance. 
If under such a system Maecenases produce few Vergils, they are 
responsible for a plentiful crop of Valerii Flacci, and to the kings‘ 

of India ' we unquestionably owe most of the poets of repute ; 
patronage by the king was at once the reward of skill in 
panegyric and the means of obtaining the leisure for serious 
composition and a measure of publicity for the works produced. 
It was the duty of the king to bridge the gulf between wealth 
and poetic talent, of the poet to save his patron from the night of 
oblivion which else must assuredly settle on him when his mortal 
life closed. At the royal courts poets vied in eager rivalry with 
one another ; probably in quite early times there were practised 
such arts as the composition of verses to complete a stanza when 
one verse was given, and the production of extempore poems on 
a given topic. The festival of Sarasvati each month afforded 
opportunities for displays in honour of the patroness of poetry 
and the arts. Fortunately, too, for the poets, kings were willing 
to claim renown for skill in poetry ; we have seen that his 
panegyrist thought well to ascribe fame in this sphere to 
Kudradaman and we shall see that the great Gupta Emperor 
Samudragupta strove for renown jas a man of letters.^ Harsa 
not only patronized Bana, but claimed the authorship of dramas 
and poems, though unkind hints were prevalent that others were 
the true begetters of his literary offspring.^ Four hundred years 
later Bhoja of Dhara was more fortunate, for we have no real 
knowledge to disprove his claim to polymathy exhibited in 
a large variety of works. In the twelfth century * the court of 
Laksmanasena revived the glory of Harsa s patronage, for besides 
the famous Jayadeva, other poets such as Umapatidhara, Dhol, 
and Govardhana wrote with acceptance. The kings of Kashmir 
often distinguished themselves by generosity to their laureates, 
{kavirdja) and to such enlightened activity we owe Somadeva*s 

* Raja9ekh8ra {^Kavyamtmamd^ p. 55) gives Vasudeva (? ihe Kanva or the Ku^na), 
Satavahana, (jQdraka, and Sahasftnka (! Candragupta II; PUchel, GN. 1901, pp. 485- 
7) as famous patrons. 

* Minor royal authors include the dramatists Mahendravikramavarman (r. 675) ; 
Ya9ovarmaD, patron of Bhavabhuti (f. 735 )» Kalacuri Miyuraja (f. 800), and 
Vigraharajadeva (1153). We have stanzas of a Nepalese king (8th cent.), of Amogha- 
varja (815-77), of Munja (975-95), and Aijunava^-man's comm, on Amaru (i3ihcent.). 
Cf. Jackson, Priyaiiariikd, pp. xxxvii ff. 

* Cf. Keith, Sanskrit Dramas pp. i7off. 

< Smith, EUI. pp. 41911, 433 wishes to place this king about fifty years before the 
^ usual date, but ignores important evidence; see R. C. Majumdar, JPASB. 1921, 
pp. 7 ff. ; C. V. Vaidya, IHQ. i. ia6 ff.; C. Chakravarti, iii. 186 ff. 


Kathdsaritsdgara. Yet it is worth remembering that we cannot 
prove any royal patron for Kalidasa, greatest of Indian poets, or^ 
even for Kalhana, the one historian of real merit in Sanskrit litera- 
ture. Nor, of course, was royal generosity confined to Sanskrit 
poetry; to a king, Hala or Satavahana, is ascribed the anthology 
of Maharastri verse, and Vakpatiraja wrote his epic, Gaiidavaha^ 
for Yajovarman of Kanauj, thus assuring him an immortality to 
survive his defeat at the hands of Lalitaditya of Kashmir. So, 
too, if we believe tradition, it was perhaps the patronage of 
Kaniska which produced the first great work of the court epic 
preserved to us, the Btiddhacarita of A^vaghosa. 


I. A^vaghosa s Works. 

T he deplorable darkness which still envelops early India 
renders it impossible to establish with certainty the date 
of A9vaghosa, famous alike as a poet and as a philosopher. 
Tradition unquestionably makes him a prot^g^ of the famous 
Kaniska, but the matter is complicated by the fact that if the 
Sutrdlamkdra ' is his, he tells two stories in which Kaniska's reign 
seems to be referred to as in the past ; this may be explained 
either on the theory that Kaniska died before him, which does 
not accord with tradition, or on the view that the stories are 
interpolated in whole or as regards the name, or that there was 
an earlier Kaniska ; again an inscription * held to belong to the 
time of Kaniska mentions an A^vaghosaraja who has been 
temerariously identified with the poet. Assuming the validity of 
the tradition despite these difficulties, the date of A^vaghosa 
would fall to be determined by that of Kaniska, for whom 
c. A.D. 100^ still seems a just estimate. Tradition also tells that 
he was originally a Brahmin, that he first adhered to the Sar- 
vastivada school of Buddhism, but was attracted by the doctrine 
of the saving grace of faith in the Buddha, and became one of the 
forerunners of the Mahayana school. I-tsing, who travelled in 
India in A.D. 671-95, refers to him as one of the great teachers 
of the past, and asserts that a collection of his works was still 
studied in his time. From the colophons of his own works we 
learn that his mother was named Suvarnaksi and that his home 
was Saketa, while he is given the style of Acarya and Bhadanta. 

1 Nos. 14 and 31 (Huber’s trans., Paris, 1908). Cf. Uvi, JA. 1896,11. 444 ff.; 
Kimura, IHQ. i. 417. Kumaralata {c, 150) is more probable. 

* El. viii. 171; S. Ch. Vidyabhusana (POCP. 1919, I. xxxliiff.) puts Kaniska, 

patron of A9vaghosa, about A. D. 320. 

‘ Cf. Smith, EHI. pp. 27a fif. ; Foucher, VArt Grico-Bouddhiqut^ ii. 484(1., 506 ft., 
who finds in the ^aka epoch merely the beginning of the fifth century of the Maurya 
epoch, placing Kaniska c. A. D. 81. Cf. D. R. Sahni, JRAS. 1924, pp. 399 


Whether the Mahay anafraddhoipdda^ a famous text-book of 
early Mahayana views, or the Vajrasikt^ an able and bitter 
attack on the Brahmanical caste system, are rightly ascribed to 
A9vaghosa need not be discussed, and his dramas are preserved 
only in fragments, which reveal little of his poetic skill.^ Of the 
songs for which he was renowned the Gandlstotragatha^ displays 
great metrical skill and attests his comprehension of the power of 
music ; it is an effort to describe in words the religious message 
carried to the hearts of men by the sounds produced by beating 
a long strip ^of wood with a short club. Of later authorship is 
the Sfitralamkdra or Kalpandmanditikdy which unhappily is 
preserved only in a fragmentary condition in Sanskrit, though 
Huber has translated into French the Chinese version of A.D. 405. 
The wide culture of the writer displays itself in his allusion to 
the Bharatan epic^ and the Rdmdyanay the Samkhya and 
Vaifesika philosophies, and Jain tenets, while in the tales he 
exhibits himself as a fervent believer in the doctrine of the saving 
power of worship of the Buddha. The collection is made up ol 
tales, in the main already current in literature still preserved, 
inculcating the Buddhist faith; many are attractive, even 
pathetic, but the doctrine of devotion carries the author to 
strange results, as in the tale of the sinner who never in his life 
did one good deed, but because in deadly terror of his life from 
attack by a tiger he uttered the salutation, ‘ Homage to the 
Buddha *, is granted entrance to the order and straightway pro- 
ceeds to sainthood. From the literary point of view the essential 
fact is that the tales are written in prose and verse, clearly of the 
classical type. We need not doubt that this combination was 
taken over by the author direct from the contemporary Jatakas 
current in Pali, even if no strict proof of this view is possible. 

The Sutrdlamkdra mentions a Buddhacaritay perhaps A9va- 
ghosa’s work, and there is reason to suppose that that epic was later 
than the Saundarananda,^ At the close of that work A9vaghosa 
frankly declares the purpose which led to his adopting the Kavya 

* Cf. Keith, Buddh. PhiLy pp. 25a flf. ; Sanskrit Drama, pp. 80 ff. 

* Ed. BB. 15, 1913. 

* We find two verses from the Harivahfa in the Vajrasucl, 

* £d. Haraprasad ^astrl, BI. 1910. Cf. Bnston, JA. 1912, i. 79if. ; Haltzsch, 
ZDMG. Ixxii-ixxiv ; Gawronski, Studies about the Sansk. Buddha Lit.y pp. 56 ff. 


form ; he recognizes that men rejoice in the delight of the world 
and seek not salvation, and therefore he sets out the truth which 
leads to enlightenment in attractive garb, in the hope that men 
attracted by it may realize the aim and extract from his work the 
gold alone. As he makes no allusion to an earlier poem, we 
may conclude that the Saundarananda was his first attempt. 
The topic of the poem is the legend of the conversion of the reluct- 
ant Nanda, his half-brother, by the Buddha, a story recounted in 
the Mahdvagga and the Niddnakathd^ but A9vaghosa deals with 
it in the approved manner of the later Kavya. He begins with 
an account of the foundation of Kapilavastu, which gives him 
occasion to display his knowledge of heroic tales and mythology 
(Canto i). There follows the description of the king, ^uddho- 
dana, and briefly an account of the birth of Sarvarthasiddha and 
his half-brother Nanda. The Buddha is described in full in the 
next Canto (iii) ; then we hear of Sundarl's beauty and the 
perfection of her union with Nanda as of the night with the 
moon. Reluctantly Nanda leaves her (iv), and the Buddha 
hastens to secure his ordination as a monk, much against his 
inclination (v). Bitter is Sundari’s grief (vi), and Nanda himself 
seeks by a long list of legendary parallels to defend his desire to 
cling to his beloved ; kings of yore have laid aside the hermit^s 
garb and returned to the world of joy and life (vii). In vain are 
the demerits of women, the flattery on their lips, the treachpry in 
their hearts, pointed out (viii) ; in vain is he warned of the evils 
of pride illustrated by the fate of heroes of the past (ix). The 
Buddha determines on a bolder plan ; he carries him to heaven 
and shows him on the way in the Himalaya a one-eyed ape of 
hideous form, asking him if Sundarl is fairer than it. Nanda 
energetically asserts his wife s loveliness, but on the sight of the 
heavenly Apsarases must admit that their beauty raises them as 
far above Sundari as she is above the ape ; with fickle faith he 
resolves to win an Apsaras as bride, but is warned that he must 
win heaven by good works, if he is to obtain this end (x). Re- 
turned to earth he strives for this end, but Auanda warns him, 
adducing a wealth of examples, that the joys of heaven are 
fleeting and that, when man's merit is exhausted, he must 
return to earth again (xi). Nanda is thus induced to lay aside 
all thought of heavenly joys and to seek and obtain instruc- 

tion from the Buddha ; he becomes not merely a saint, but on 
the Buddha s bidding determines on the nobler course of seek- 
ing salvation not for himself alone, but of preaching it to others 

The Buddhacarita ^ deals with the greater theme of the life of 
the Buddha, and it is a misfortune that as we have it the poem 
contains but seventeen Cantos and of these only the first thirteen 

with certain exceptions — are genuine, the remainder being an 
addition made a century ago by Amrtananda who records that 
he did so because he could not find a manuscript of the rest of 
the text. The poem now ends with the conversions made at 
Benares, but the Chinese version, made between a.d, 414 and 421, 
and the Tibetan, have twenty-eight Cantos, and I-tsing still knew 
of this number. The exact source which influenced A^vaghosa 
in his choice of incident is unknown, for it is not proved that the 
Laltiavtsiara existed in his time in anything like its present 
form. In any case the contrast between the two works is 
remarkable ; the Lalitavistara is written in the main in Sanskrit 
prose of the plain type, intermingled with ballads in mixed 
Sanskrit of the so-called Gatha style ; at best it is confused, at 
worst incoherent. A^vaghosa’s poem is essentially the work of 
an artist; in choice of incident and arrangement he seeks to 
produce the maximum effect, and, though he does not vary in 
essentials the tradition, he renders vivid and affecting the scenes 
which he describes. The prince’s fatal journeying forth from the 
palace which brings him into contact with the hateful spectacle 
of age, is preceded by the account of the fair women who crowd 
to Watch his exit ; the poet again shows his skill in depicting 
the loving ruses by which the ladies of the harem seek to divert 
his mind from the desire to renounce the vanities of the world, 
and in describing the famous scene when the prince gazing on 
them in their sleep resolves to abandon the palace. Nor is he 
skilled in the Kamafastra alone ; he adduces the arguments by 
which the family priests, fortified by the precepts of political 
science, seeks to deter the prince from his resolution to abandon 

' Ed. E. B. Cowell, Oxford, 1893 ; trans. SBE. 46 ; Formichi, Baii, 1913. See 
also Hullzsch, ZDMG. Ixxii. i45ff.; Cappellcr, Zll.ii, iff.; Speyer, JRAS. 1914, 
PP. 105 ff. ; GawroAski, Roeznik Oryentalutyczny, i. iff; i-v ed. and trans. K. M. 
Joglekar, Bombay, 191a. On Buddhist Sanskrit Literature cf. G. K. Nariman, 
Sanskrit Buddhism (1933). 


secular life with its duties, and true to the rule which requires 
a description of a battle he provides a spirited picture of the 
contest of Buddha against the demon Mara and his monstrous 

There is not the slightest doubt of one of the sources of 
A^vaghosa. Though Cowell was unable to find decisive proof 
of his knowledge of the Rdmdyana as opposed merely to the 
legend of Rama, the fact is put beyond doubt, apart from a men- 
tion of the poem in the Sutrdlaihkdra^ by careful study of the 
references in the Buddhacarita itself^; when the people of the 
town see that Siddhartha has not returned they weep as afore- 
time when the chariot of Da9aratha*s son returned without him ; 
g^uddhodana compares himself to Da9aratha, bereft of Rama, 
whose death he envies, and in these and many other passages 
there is clear knowledge by A9vaghosa of the wording of our 
present text. It was natural that the parallel should deeply 
affect A9vaghosa, and the broad structure of the episode of the 
return of Sumantra to Ayodhya without Rama and of Chan- 
daka to Kapilavastu without Siddhartha is unmistakable ; the 
charioteer leaves his master, and returns to the city now sadly 
changed ; the eager citizens rush out to greet him, learn his 
news, and are filled with lamentation ; the women throng the 
windows and then withdraw in deep depression to their inner 
chambers; the charioteer enters the presence of the king. 
Similarly again, Ya9odhara s lament for the sufferings of the 
prince in his new life of hardship is modelled on Sitas sorrow for 
her husband^s sufferings in the forest. Nor does it seem reason- 
able to deny that the description of the aspect of the women of 
the harem in sleep is based on the portraiture of Ravanas 

2. A(ivaghosd s Style and Language, 

Dandin ^ draws a vital distinction between two styles as preva- 
lent in his day, the Gauda and the Vaidarbha, eastern and 
southern, and from his account and other evidence we gather that 

' Gawronski, Studies about the Sansk, Buddh, Lit,^ pp. 27 ff. 

* V. 9-1 1, which Wintemitz (GIL. i. 4 > 7 ) asserti to be based on A9vagbosa. But 
see Waller, Indica, iii. 13. 

* KayyadarfUf i. 40 ff. 


among the characteristics of the former was the love of long 
compounds not merely in prose, where they were accepted even 
by the Vaidarbha, but in verse also ; love of alliteration and of 
harsh sound effects ; the use of recondite etymologizing phrase- 
ology, and a desire for strength resulting often in bombast and 
affectation. It has been suggested by Jacobi ^ that the contrast 
of styles has a historical basis ; Sanskrit poetry was practised, it 
is argued, eagerly in the east and Sanskrit poetry there had 
developed the evil effects of old age, before the art became 
current in the west and south. The simpler style of the south 
was also on this view influenced by the freshness of the lyric of 
Maharastra born of close contact with the people. It is already 
a serious objection to such a conclusion that in the Ndtyagdsira 
we find the qualities which Dapdin ascribes as characteristic of 
the Vaidarbha ascribed to the Kavya style in general ; this is 
a strong suggestion that at the time of the Ndtyagdsira there 
had not developed those characteristics of the Gauda style, and 
that they emerged gradually with the development of poetry at 
the courts of princes of Bengal. This view gains support from 
the fact that, though Dandin praises the Vaidarbha style, and 
evidently disapproves of the Gauda, in practice poets of later 
date often affect the Gauda manner. A 9 vaghosa, however, 
affords a more convincing proof still of the early character of the 
Vaidarbha ; his style unmistakably is of the Vaidarbha type ; as 
Bana later says of the western poets, it aims at sense rather than 
mere ornament ; it is his aim to narrate, to describe, to preach 
his curious but not unattractive philosophy of renunciation of 
selfish desire and universal active benevolence and effort for the 
good, and by the clarity, vividness, and elegance of his diction to 
attract the minds of those to whom blunt truths and pedestrian 
statements would not appeal. This project left no room for mere 
elegance or for deliberate straining after effect, and thus it results 
that A9vaghosa*s works attain a high measure of attractiveness, 
especially when we make the necessary allowance for the decidedly 
bad condition of the text tradition of both epics. Simple, of course, 
in the sense in which it can be applied to English poetry, is an 
inappropriate epithet as regards any Sanskrit Kavya, but rela- 
tively to the later standard, even in some measure to Kalidasa, 
^ Amstvf^lte Erwahlungm in MdkdrdsAfrt, pp. xvi f. 


A^vaghosa’s style is simple. Nor may we deny it the epithets 
of sensuous and passionate ; the picture of the pleasures of love 
drawn by A9vaghosa is already marked by that wealth of 
intimate detail which appeals to all Indian poets, but proves 
a grave stumbling block to critics who find matter for offence 
even in the charming picture of the deceiving Zeus in the Iliad 
and reprobate in the author of the Odyssey the episode of the 
amour of Ares and Aphrodite. But still more sincere is the 
burning enthusiasm of the poet for his own ideal, not the Arhat, 
contented to seek his own freedom from rebirth in this world of 
misery, but the Bodhisattva, the Buddha to be, who delays, how- 
ever, his entering into Nirvana until he has accomplished his view 
of freeing all other creatures from the delusion which makes 
them cling throughout the ages to mortal life and its woes. 
This is a new note in Sanskiit poetry ; Valmiki has majesty and 
a calm seriousness, but he is free from passion like his hero, who 
though he experiences vicissitudes yet stands apart from them, 
and of whose ultimate success we never doubt. Nanda*s rejection 
of Sundarl may seem to us heartless enough ; his transference of 
his fickle affection to the Apsarases has its comic side, but in the 
end he seeks the welfare of others, even as does the Buddha ; 
Rama on the contrary in his rejection of Sita after the long 
agony of separation from him has no warmer motive than obedi- 
ence to the doctrine that Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. 

As ^uddhodana reminds us of Da9aratha, so Sundari has 
traces of Sita, but with a vehemence of passion unknown to that 
queen, and without her dignity and steadfast courage. Nor is it 
in theme and character-drawing alone that Valmiki is laid under 
contribution ; the metaphors and similes of the Rdmdyana^ 
appear in more refined form ; the king, hearing of his son’s final 
resolve, falls, smitten by sorrow as Indra's banner is lowered 
when the festival is over {Qaclpater vrtta ivotsave dhvajah) ; the 
maidens stand drinking in the prince’s beauty with eyes that 
stay wide open in joy {nigcalaih prltivikacaik pibantya iva loca^ 
naih) ; they display their bosoms that are like bowls of gold 
{suvarnakalagaprak/iydn dargayantyah payodhardn). The epic 
speaks of the ocean laughing with the foam of its waves, the 
poet embodies the idea in the picture of a sleeping beauty of the 

1 Cf. Walter, IndUa, iii. ii ff. 


harem, with a daintiness of elaboration which is far removed 
from the epic ; 

vibabhau karalagnavenur anyd : stanavisrastasitdngukd gay and 
rjugatpadapahktijustapadmd : jalaphenaprahasattatd nadiva, 

‘ And one lay resplendent, holding a flute in her hand, while her 
white garment slipt from her bosOm, like unto a river whose 
banks laugh with the foam ' of her waves, and in whose lotuses 
long rows of bees delight/ A^vaghosa unquestionably is at his 
best in simple and elegant description by which a clear picture is 
presented to the eyes : 

tathdpi pdpiyasi nirjite gate: digah praseduh prababhau 

divo nipetnr bhuvi pnspavrstayo : rardja yoseva vikalmasd 

‘ So when the evil one had retired worsted, the sky became calm, 
the moon shone forth, flowers fell in rain from heaven on the 
earth ; night shone clear like a maiden free from stain/ When 
the charioteer returns ; 

pnnah ktintdro vinivrtta ity atho : gavdksamdldk pratipedire 

viviktaprstham ca nigamya vdjinam : pnnar gavdksdni pid- 
hay a cukrngnh, 

‘ “ Tis the prince returned said the women and rushed to their 
windows, but, seeing the steed s back bereft of its master, closed 
them again and wailed aloud/ Ya9odhara, who is more akin to 
Sita than Sundari, laments her husband's new lot : 

gucau gayitvd gayane hiranmaye: prabodkyamdno nigi tur- 

katham bata svapsyati so 'dya me vrati: pataikadegdniariie 

‘ How can he sleep to-night, my faithful one, on one poor mat 
covering the bare earth, he who hath slept aforetime on a couch 
of gold undefiled, and whom music hath aroused from his 
slumbers ? ’ A9vaghosa is also a master of simple pathos : 

mahatyd trsnayd duhkhair garbhendsmi yayd dhrtah 
tasyd nisphalayatndydh kvdham nidtuh kva sd mama, 

* Cf. Meshaduta^ 50. 


* With deep longing and many a pain did she bear me in her 
womb ; all her effort hath come to nought ; why was she mother, 
why was I her son ? * As often the idea has a prototype in the 
Rdmdyana} but A^vaghosa has heightened by his delicate touch 
the effect of the whole. 

Sanskrit poetry, which does not aim at rhyme, nevertheless is 
fond of the repetition of the same syllables in close relation, 
especially if the meaning thus conveyed is altered, and instances 
of Yamakas, as they are styled, are not rare in A9vaghosa as in 
pranastavatsdm iva vatsaldvt gam^ ‘ like a loving cow which hath 
lost its calf*, a clear refinement on the vivatsd vat said krtd of the 
epic; a more elaborate effect is produced in Canto i where 
stanzas 14-16 approximate to rhyme as in nddrasantkhyaih 
sacivair asaihkhyaih^ ‘ with countless ministers of noble counsels * 
and samagradevlnivahdgradevly ‘ queen supreme of all the host 
of queens *, but such effects are rarely ^ sought. Occasionally 
a phrase is overworked as in tapahprafdntam sa vanam vivega^ 

‘ he entered the penance grove where penance had ceased and 
now and then the poet errs in his display of his culture,® as when 
he derives a simile from the use of the verbal form asti as 
a particle, though his successors equally delight to prove by 
recondite allusions that they are masters of the works of Panini. 
His own skill is shown especially in Canto ii of the Saiinda- 
rananda where he exhibits his knowledge of aorist forms, and he 
evidently felt pleasure in the skill which uses inlyate as the passive 
of the three verbs mdy miy and inly ajijipat as the aorist of jap 
and jiy and adldipat as that of da and do. On the other hand we 
find forms which, if excusable, are so only on the ground of the 
epic, as in the gerunds grhya and vivardhayitvd ; beside the 
common nigamyay hearing, we find nigdtnyay observing, and, 
while the derivative form daigika is regularly used stidegika stands 
beside it. The periphrastic future as aham prave^td replaces 
pravestdsmiy and in the use of particles A9vaghosa permits him- 
self irregularities which are not rare in Buddhist Sanskrit ; thus 

> ii. 53. 30 . 

* harituragaturangavatturangah, BttddhacarUa, v. 87, is not a success. 

* The poet shows in a simile his knowledj^e of the new art of Gandhara, His use 
of the technical terms hhdva and hdva (iv, 12) proves his knowledge of Alamkara, 
and he fully employs Yathasamkhya, v. 42 ; ix. 16. For artistic parallels see 
Foucher, V Art Grko-Bouddhiqne du Gandhara y i. 331, 339 ff. 


kim data and prag eva denote ‘ how much more ’ ; saced is used 
for ced\ and, as in the epic, some pleonasm of particles is 
allowed ; we find, unless we amend, api repeated, hi and tu com- 
bined in one sentence and even na Jakarta na cdpi cdnutepe. 
Some Buddhist terms occur, such zsprativedha, ihjita^pragrabdhi^ 
and praverita, while m ':rd^ for the wonted maitrl, is based on 
Pali mettd ; moreover it is impossible to defend some of A9va- 
ghosa’s genders. But these are minor blemishes in a Sanskrit 
which is normally grammatically correct. 

Nor is there any real doubt as to A9vaghosa*s metrical skill, 
though the manuscripts do undoubtedly present a text in which 
metrical deficiencies are not rarely present. In addition to the 
more easy metres he adopts the Udgata for Canto iii of the 
Saundarananda^ an example followed in Canto xii of the Kira- 
tdrjunlya and Canto xv of the Qigupdlavadhuy while the Suva- 
dana and the Vardhamana species of the Upasthitapracupita ^ 
arc also found. 

3. The Avaddnas. 

Connected with A9vaghosa, sometimes identified with him by 
tradition, is a mysterious Matrce^a,* of whose numerous works 
fragments alone, from his Qatapahedgatikastotra^ exist in 
Sanskrit. These show a fairly elegant style of religious lyric 
devotion. The taste of the time, however, seems to have pre- 
ferred the telling of tales dealing with the endless theme of the 
fruits of man’s deeds. Moreover the view of the Buddhists who 
loved these Avadanas^ — tales of great acts or perhaps of the 
causes of man's future® — was not a narrowly moral one. They 
were not content to exemplify the somewhat cold doctrine of the 
due reward of a man’s actions regarded merely from the moral 
point of view. They were frankly Buddha worshippers and 

» Sound, il. 65; cf. Jacobi, OTMG. xxxviii. 603; SIFI. VIII. ii. 113. 

* Cf. Tliomas, ERE. viii. 495. 

• L^vi, JA. 1910, ii. 433-56; Poussin, JRAS. 1911, pp. 759-77. For his Varna- 
ndrhavarnana see Thomas, I A. xxxiv. 145 ff. 

^ Przylnski (Za Ugend$ de Pemptrmr Afoka (1923), pp. viiif., 214) holds that 
there were two Vinayas of the Sarvastivadins, one of Mathnra with Avadanas or 
J&takas, one of Kashmir without them ; the Divydvaddna may all be derived from the 
first of these Vinayas ; L6vi, Voung PaOy viii. 105-22 ; JA. 1914, ii. 494. 

^ Zimmer, ZII. iii. 203 AT. 


believed wholeheartedly in the efficacy of any act of devotion to 
the Buddha or his followers as having the power to influence 
indefinitely for good the life of man ; equally they held that an 
insult to the Buddha was certain to bear appalling fruit. Of the 
Avadana texts preserved the oldest maybe the Avaddnagataka^ 
which is stated to have been rendered into Chinese in the first 
half of the third century A.D., and which, as containing the term 
dinar can hardly belong to any period earlier than A.D. 100. 
Artistically the work has scanty merit ; its arrangement in ten 
decades each according to subject-matter is schematic ; the tales 
open with set formulae, contain set formulae of description, as of 
the laughter of the Buddha, and of moral exhortation ; exaggera- 
tion and long-windedness mark the whole, and beauty of form is 
sacrificed to the desire to be edifying. From this point of view, 
indeed, the tales often reveal thoughts of some beauty ; Maitra- 
kanyaka, condemned for wrongs done to his mother to endure in 
hell the punishment of bearing on his head wheel of red-hot 
iron for 66,000 years until another who has committed a like sin 
comes to relieve him of his burden, resolves that rather will he 
for ever and ever endure the pain, and is rewarded forthwith by 
the disappearance of the instrument of torment. Qrimati, wife of 
Bimbisara, pays homage to the relics of the Buddha which the 
king had enclosed in a Stupa for worship by the ladies of his 
harem ; the parricide Ajata^atru forbids such homage on pain of 
death, but ^rlmatl disobeys, and, slain by the king’s order, is 
born again in the world of the gods. 

Far more interesting as literature is the Divyavaddna^ a col- 
lection of legends which draws, like the Avaddnagataka, largely 
on the Vinayapitaka of the Sarvastivadin school of Buddhism. 
Its date is uncertain ; its origin is complex ; one section is 
definitely described as a Mahayana Sutra, while the body of the 
work is still of the Hinayana school. The term dindra occurs, 
and one famous tale, the ^ardulakarnavadana, was rendered into 
Chinese in a.d. 265. It tells how the Buddha by his skill in 
persuasion converted to the faith the maiden Prakrti, who had con- 
ceived a deep love for the beloved disciple Ananda and would have 
won him from his vows, had he not at the moment of his greatest 

' Ed. T. S. Speyer, BB. 3, 1902-9; trans. L. Peer, AMG. 18, 1891. 

* Ed. E. B. Cowell and R. A. Neil, Cambridge, 1886. 




danger sought refuge in his master's strength. The gem of the 
collection is doubtless the pathetic legend of Kunala, son of 
A9oka,^ whose false stepmother succeeds in poisoning his father’s 
mind against him and in having him blinded without his per- 
mitting himself either hate or reproach. We find, however, also 
a still more gruesome and to us repellent theme in the tale of 
Rupavati, who severs her own breasts in order to feed a hungry 
mother when on the point of eating her own child ; Rupavati is 
extolled as a pattern of the Bodhisattva who seeks to save the 
whole world, and is accorded the somewhat quaint honour of 
being reborn as a prince, Rupavata. 

The style of the book is very uneven, as a result of the 
diversity of its sources. Besides ordinary simple Sanskrit prose, 
intermingled here and there with Gathas, we find here and there 
passages in elaborate metres and prose with the long compounds 
approved by writers on poetics. Thus Avadana xxxviii is a version 
in elaborate style of the story of Maitrakanyaka in the form found 
in the Avadanagataka. More interesting to us is the preservation, 
as part of the cycle of legends of Afoka (xxvi-xxix), of the dramatic 
episode of the conversion of the demon Mara by the virtuous 
Upagupta. The idea, ingenious in itself, is carried out with spirit 
and imagination ; Mara is converted and Upagupta, who desires to 
see with his eyes the Buddha long since dead, asks him to appear 
before him in the Buddha’s form. Mara obeys, and the devotee 
falls down in worship before the wondrous apparition of the master 
he loved. We can recognize here, without question, borrowing 
from A^vaghosa in manner, as in substance from the Sutrdlam- 
kdra ; style and metre are of the classical type which his poems 
display. Moreover, we can trace in this section of the work 
clear instances of knowledge of the Biiddhacarita and even of the 
less popular Satmdarananda ; thus Gupta’s son is described as 
beautiful beyond men but yet inferior to the gods {atikrdnto 
mdnusavarnam asamprdpiag ca divyavarnam)^ and this some- 
what clumsy expression can hardly be derived from any source 
other than A5vaghosa’s elegant atltya martydn aimpetya devdn. 

^ The original Afokavaddna, according to Przyluski, La Ugende de Vempereur 
Afoka (1933), was composed by a monk of Mathura about two centuries before 
Kaniska (between 1 50-100 B.c.). 

* Gawrohski, Studies about the Sansk. Buddh, Lit.^ pp. 49 ff. 


Similarly, both xxii and xxxviii contain reminiscences of the 
Buddhacarita both in the polish of their style and in actual 
verbal similarities ; in the latter we have ; 

trsndnilaih ^okagikhdpracandaig : cittdni dagdhdni bahu- 

dgdvatdih sapranaydbhirdniair : ddndnibusekath gamaydfu^ 

‘ The flames of desire, kindled by sorrow, in the minds of those 
full of longing were extinguished by the torrents of his gene- 
rosity, made beautiful by his courtesy/ 

In the less polished parts of the collection we find many 
curious specimens of the influence of Pali or Prakrit on the 
writers. Thus we have forms like sarpi for sarpis, parvah for 
parva<i yam {ox y at ^ tdvanta for tdvauty pithi for vlthi. The use 
of particles often deviates from Sanskrit practice : thus apt .. . 
api serves as equivalent to et ... ^t i apy eva means perhaps, 
prdg eva often, ydvat qiiippe ; the favourite Buddhist form of 
denoting place, yena . . . tena^ is common ; and yatahy yadbhu^ 
yasdy tatprathamatahy and yat khalti are common as conjunc- 
tions. As prepositions we find sarvdntCy after, sakdmaniy to 
please, sthdpayitvdy except. Rare words and meanings abound, 
as dpattiy sin, kola^ raft, gulmuy custom-house, uddhavay cheer- 
fulness, paribhdSy abuse, nigrityay going to, pragharatiy ooze 
forth {praksar-)^ vyatisdrayati kathdmy converse, anyataray 
anyatamay any one, bhuyasyd mdtraydy still more. 

4 , Ary a Qilra arid later Poetry 

The influence of A9vaghosa is unquestionably to be traced in 
the elegant and interesting collection of lectures or sermons in the 
form of edifying anecdotes of the Buddha s action in former 
births produced by Arya (Jura under the style of Jatakamdla} 
The mere fact that the tales appear in Sanskrit of the Kavya 

a Prakrit- 

1 The Vedic ghr may be the origin of this formation, if it is not itself 

ism; cf. Geiger, Pdliy p. 67. , , o t - a 

* Ed. H. Kern, HOS. i, 1891; trans. J. S. Speyer, London, 1895. Cf. Luders, 

GN. IQ03, pp. 758 ff. ; F. W. Thomas, Album Kim, pp. jog ff. ; on the Chines ver- 
sion, Ivanovski, RHR. xlvii. 398 ff. ; cf. E. Wohlgemuth, l 7 bir dit chintsiuht Vtrston 
von Aivaghosa 5 Buddheuarita (Leipzig, 1916). 


type is sufficient proof of the spread of the use of that language 
for purposes of literature and discussion in the courtly circles in 
which, we may safely assume, Arya Qura moved and lived. The 
material of the tales was doubtless ready to hand ; nearly all of 
them are extant in the Pali Jataka book,^ and twelve of them 
are also found in the Pali Cariyapitaka. Moreover, as in that 
book, the tales are told with the definite purpose of illustrating 
the various perfections {pdramitds) ascribed by Buddhist theory 
to the Buddha to be. Their chief defect to modern taste is the 
extravagance which refuses to recognize the Aristotelian mean. 
The very first tale, which is not in the Jataka book, tells of the 
extraordinary benevolence of the Bodhisattva who insists on 
sacrificing his life in order to feed a hungry tigress, whom he 
finds on the point of devouring the young whom she can no 
longer feed, and the other narratives are no less inhuman in the 
disproportion between the worth of the object sacrificed and that 
for whose sake the sacrifice is made. But these defects were 
deemed rather merits by contemporary and later taste. I-tsing 
mentions the Jdtakamdld as one of the popular works among 
Buddhists of his day, and the frescoes of Ajanta include both 
pictures and verses, proving the existence then of the text. The 
date of this evidence, unfortunately, is not certain, but the style 
of writing suggests the sixth century, and with this accords the 
fact that a Chinese rendering of another work of Arya Qura was 
made in A. D. 434. The author may then have written in the 
third, or more probably the fourth, century. 

Arya jura’s style is classical, showing command of the 
resources of his art, but restrained and saved from exaggeration 
by good taste. His prose and verse alike are careful and polished, 
and, though he is not averse to the use of fairly long compounds, 
especially in prose, he employs them naturally and is seldom 
obscure. His good taste is conspicuous in the lines put in the 
mouth of the son whose father in his insensate generosity has 
given away his wife and children ; the child speaks in simple but 
pathetic words : 

naive Jam me tathd duhkham yad ay am hanti mdm dvtjah 

ndpagyam ambdm yat tv adya tad viddrayattva mdm 

' GN. 1918, pp. 464 flf. 


rodisyati dram niinam ambd gunye tapovane 
putragokena krpand hatagdveva cdtakl, 
asmadarthe samdkriya vandn mulaphalam bahu 
bhavi§yaii kathaih nv ambd drstvd gunyam tapovanam f 
ime ndv agvakds tdta hastikd rathakdg ca ye 
ato 'rdham deyam ambdyai gokam tena vine^yati, 

‘ *Tis not so much that the Brahmin beats me that causes me 
sorrow, but that I have not seen my mother to-day pierces my 
heart Long will my mother weep in the penance grove, now 
lonely, sorrowing for the woes of her children, like a cuckoo 
whose young are slain. She has gathered for our sake many 
a fruit and root from the forest ; how then will she feel when she 
sees the penance grove left lonely? Here, daddy, are our toy 
horses, our elephants, our cars ; give a half to mother ; thus will 
she assuage her grief.* But he is equally happy in more elaborate 
themes, as in the description of the rule of the just king : 

samaprabhdvd svajane janeca : dharmdnugd tasya hi danda- 

adharmyam dvrtya janasya nidrgam: sopdnamdleva divo 

' Impartial to kin and stranger alike, his rule followed in the 
steps of righteousness ; blocking the path of unrighteousness to 
men, it was as a ladder to raise them to the sky.* No doubt in 
his language there are traces here and there of Palicisms/ but 
these do not seriously detract from Arya jura’s claim to correct- 
ness of language, and his metrical skill is considerable. 

The form of his tales as composed of prose with verses inter- 
mingled, now singly, now in larger numbers, is of historical 
interest. It is not, of course, an invention of Arya ^ura, who 
followed Kumaralata and doubtless many others in the employ- 
ment of this style. But its origin is disputed. Oldenberg* 
developed with his usual skill the thesis that the original form of 
literature in India, as perhaps elsewhere, was prose, with verses 
interposed at those points where the primitive mind naturally 
tends to give utterance to its feelings in verse form, as when 

^ He is praised in the Saduktikarndvirta^ ZDMG. xxxvi. 365. For his Palicisms 
see Franke, IF. v. Anz. 31. 

* GGA. 1909, pp. 66 ff. ; GN. 1911, pp. 459 ff. j 1919, pp. 79(1. Cf. Winternitz, 
WZKM. xxiii. loa ff. 


a god is invoked, a curse is pronounced, a benediction uttered, 
a prayer put up, in short at any point where emotion is let free 
and the pedestrian prose is inadequate as an expression of the 
feeling. He has found proofs of the existence of literature of 
this kind in the Rgveda^ the Brahmanas, the epic, and in Pali 
texts, including the Jatakas, In principle the verses alone were 
preserved in fixed form, and they only received skill and care, 
the prose being supplied by those who told the tales. The pro- 
cess of development which followed was, on the one hand, the 
elimination of the prose by substituting verse, and it has been 
suggested that a remnant of the old condition is to be found in 
the Mahdbhdrata^ where the speakers in case of dialogue are 
given in prose, while in the more finished Rdmdyana such 
devices are unknown, the poet, like the authors of the Iliad and 
Odyssey f working into verse the name of the spokesman. On the 
other hand, the step was taken of applying to the prose the 
artistic polish which marked the verse, and Oldenberg ^ claims 
that, apart from an exceptional case like the Kundla Jdtaka of 
the Pali Jataka book, where the verses are accompanied by an 
ornate prose, the J dtakamdld and the Pancatantra or Tantrd- 
khydyika are among the earliest examples of this form. 

It seems clear for reasons elsewhere adduced ^ that the theory 
is not substantiated by Vedic evidence, and that it must stand or 
fall according as other considerations may appear to render it 
credible. The evidence of comparative literature is still quite 
inadequate to support it, and from the Indian point of view 
matters can much more simply be explained. The earliest form 
of prose with verse intermingled which we find in Indian litera- 
ture appears to be that in which gnomic verse is cited to illustrate 

‘ Aliind, Prosay pp. 82 ff. What is true is that elaboration of prose style is later 
than and based on development of verse; cf. Jacobi, Compositum und NebensatZy 
p. 93, who cites the symmetrical Varnakas of the Jain canon and their long com- 
pounds (cf. IS. xvii. 389(1.). 

* Keith, JKAS. 1911, pp. 979 ff* ; 191*1 PP* 429 ff , ; HOS. xxv. 43(1. There arc 
cases of intermixture of prose and verse in other languages, e. g. Latin (Varro’s 
Sa/urae Menipp^ae, Petronius, Martianus Capella (c. A. D. 400), Boethius (480-534), 
and two novels, Julius Valerius (c. 300) and Historia Apollonii Tprii ; Teuffel- 
Schwabc, AVw. Lit.y §§ 38, 165, 305, 399,452,478, and 489); Norse; Mediaeval 
Irish (Windisch, Irische Tcxie^ iii. 447(1.); Chinese; Old Picard, Aucassin et Nico- 
leU ; Boccaccio’s VAmeto\ Sa’di’s Gulistdn\ Basutos and Eskimos (MacCulloch, 
Childhood oj Ficliotty pp. 480 (f.) ; Gray, Vdsavadalld, p. 32. 


what is stated in the prose ; this is akin to the practice of the 
Brahmanas to adduce occasionally Yajnagathas, verses on sacri- 
ficial points, in their discussions, and to the habit of the Dharma- 
sutras to enforce the rules which they lay down with verse cita- 
tions. Here and there in the Upanisads we find similar cases, 
verses being cited in illustration and explanation of a doctrine 
stated in prose ; in these cases it is made quite clear that the 
verses are quotations, from which, no doubt, it was an easy step 
to the writer composing verses of his own to enliven his theme 
or summarize his moral. The Karikas found in the Mahdbhdsya 
prove that grammarians recognized the convenience of thus 
putting on record in easily remembered and accurate form their 
observations on disputed points. In the case of narrative the 
evidence seems clearly to indicate that originally in India prose 
and verse were used independently ; if so, it is easy to understand 
how they could come to be combined, especially as in the other 
instances adduced above there already existed examples of the 
combination of verse and prose in one literary form. The few 
cases in the epic of prose and verse combined seem to be dis- 
tinctly instances of contamination, not remnants of an older form 
of composition. How far models in Pali were available for the 
author of the J dtakamdld or Kumaralata we cannot, of course, 
prove, for the Jataka book in Pali as we have it presents grave 
problems which are yet unsolved. But the Knndla Jdtaka 
at any rate suggests that it would be unwise to claim that 
the transition first took place in Sanskrit versions of Jataka 

Other Buddhist writers contributed much less to literature 
than to philosophy. The mysterious Nagarjuna, perhaps of the 
latter part of the second century A. D., in his M adhyamakakdrikds 
shows a perverse ability to develop paradoxes, while Arya Deva 
(c. A.D. 2^0) in his Catuhgatikd^ shows considerable power of 
irony in his onslaught on the Brahmanical practice of bathing in 
the Ganges to remove sin and acquire merit. The Qisyalekha- 
dharmakdvya ^ of Candragomin, in which instruction is given in the 
form of a letter to a pupil dealing with the essential facts of the 

^ Ed. Calcutta, 1914. On his Ilastavdlaprakaranavrtti, cf. Thomas and Ui, 
JRAS. 1918, pp. 267 flf. Cf. P. L. Vaidya, ^itudes sur Aryadeva (Paris, 1923). 

* Ed. I. P. Minayeff, Zapiski^ iv. 


Buddhist faith, has a predecessor in the Suhrllekha ^ of Nagar- 
juna, in which he summarizes Buddhist doctrine for a king, 
unhappily unidentified. The Subhdsitdvali cites averse actually 
found in the letter, though omitted in the Tibetan version : 

visasya visaydndm ca duram atyantam antaram 

upabhuktam visam hanii vi^aydh smarandd apu 

‘ Vast indeed the difference between poison and objects of sense ; 
poison slays only when tasted, but the things of sense by mere 
thought thereof.’ The name of the author is given in the text 
as Candragopin, but on the whole it is improbable that he is to be 
distinguished from Candragomin, and we may place him in the 
seventh century A.D., as his grammar was used in the Kdgikd 
Vrtti^ while he seems to have been alive as late as the time of 
I-tsing, though his reference is not free from doubt. As might be 
expected from a grammarian, the poem is written in correct and 
fluent Sanskrit, but without special distinction. 

The case is other with ^antideva, author of the laborious com- 
pendium of Buddhist dogmatics of the Mahayana school, the 
^iksdsamuccayay in his Bodhicarydvatdra^ in which he sketches 
the career of him who seeks to attain Buddhahood as opposed to 
the narrow Hinayana ideal of saintship. Qantideva, who lived 
in the seventh century and whom tradition alleges to have been 
the son of a king who was induced by the goddess Tara to lay 
aside royal state, disclaims any literary pretension ; he writes for 
himself only and for those of nature akin to his. His poem is 
a strange blend of passionate devotion to the aim of aiding men 
to achieve freedom from the miseries of life coupled with the 
utter negativism of the Mahayana philosophy. There is nothing 
real, nothing can be gained or lost, none honoured or despised ; joy 
and sorrow, love and hate, all are idle names, without reality ; 
search as you will, nothing can be found that is. None the less 
Qantideva seems to be intoxicated with the nobility of the aim of 
seeking to be a saviour of mankind ; the good we do in our 
efforts is a joy to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas ; we are allied 
with them in the struggle to attain the end. It is a delusion by 

' Trans. H. Wenzel, JPTS. 1886, pp, iff.; for the king Satavahana, cf. Vidyabhu- 
sana, POCP. 1919, ii. 125. 

* Ed. de la Vallde Poussin, BI. 1901 ff. ; trans. Paris, 1907. 


which we treat our own bodies as something essentially our own ; 
we must realise that the grief of another is our own, the joy of 
another not alien to us. The poetic power of the author stands 
out brilliantly when contrasted with the uninspired verses in 
which his predecessors Vasubandhu and his brother Asahga, 
probably in the fourth century, preached their doctrines. Of the 
latter we have the Mahay dnasutrdlamkdra^ written in correct but 
undistinguished Sanskrit, utterly overloaded with technicalities, 
and, despite its great length and the obvious efforts of the author 
to express himself effectively, deplorably obscure. But the 
poem is of literary interest as proving how fully Buddhist 
teachers had adopted Sanskrit as their literary medium. 



I . The Guptas and the Brahmin Revival 

U TTER obscurity attends the decline of the power of the 
followers of Kaniska in India, ^ but it is certain that in 
A.D. $2,0 Candragupta founded, as a result of a matrimonial 
alliance with a Licchavi princess, a dynasty with head-quarters 
at Pataliputra, which under his son, Samudragupta (c. A.D. 
330-75), stood out as the paramount power in northern India, 
while his grandson, Candragupta II, completed its success by 
overthrowing the Ksatrapas and adding Malwa, Gujarat, and 
Kathiawar to the empire. His son and successor, Kumaragupta 
(a.d. 413-55), seems to have reigned in unbroken prosperity, and 
Skandagupta, his son, shortly after his reign began, won a decided 
success over the Huna invaders who were advancing from the 
north-west and menacing India. But between a.d. 465 and 470 
the Huna advance seems to have become irresistible, and at any 
rate after the death of Skandagupta about 480 the greatness of 
the empire was irretrievably departed, though the dynasty con- 
tinued to rule sadly diminished dominions for several genera- 
tions. By 499 Toramana, leader of the Hunas, was established 
as ruler of Malwa, while his successor, Mihiragula, had his capital 
at Sialkdt in the Panjab. The expulsion of the Huns seems to 
have been the result about 528 of a victory won by Ya90- 
dharman, a ruler of certtral India, and the Gupta Baladitya of 
Magadha, but the records are curiously unsatisfactory. At any 
rate Mihiragula retreated to Kashmir, where he won an unenvi- 
able reputation,^ and shortly after 550 the Turks conquered the 
Hun kingdom on the Oxus. 

There can be no doubt that the Gupta empire signified a 
distinct revival of Brahmanism and a reassertion of Indian 

* Smith, EHI. chaps, x and xi ; Bhandarkar, Earfy History of India^ pp. 47 flf. 

* To him is ascribed the ruin of Gandhara and its art ; Foucher, L' Art Grico- 
Bouddhique^ ii. 588 fT. 


nationality as opposed to the somewhat cosmopolitan Kushan 
regime, under which Buddhism was decidedly in chief favour, 
though Brahmanism and Jainism must have been widespread. 
The art of the period is of a high order, reflecting a national 
spirit reacting to the impulse of Greek inspiration,^ although the 
architecture of the period has largely disappeared, owing doubt- 
less to the appalling destruction wrought by the Mahomedan 
invaders of north India. The sculpture, however, exhibits an 
unusual beauty of figure, dignity of pose, and restraint and 
refinement of treatment in detail. The coinage, often of merit, 
shows clear traces of intercourse with the Roman world, also 
attested by records of missions to Rome and Constantinople in 
361 and 530. Mathematics, astronomy, and astrology flourished, 
taking new life under Greek influence, as is abundantly esta- 
blished by the Pahcasiddhantika of Varahamihira' {c. 550) and 
by the works of Aryabhata (born 476). Relations with China 
were maintained by visits of Buddhists from and to India. 
Fa-hien (401-10) gives us a most favourable picture of India 
under Candragupta II. There was freedom of movement 
throughout mid-India; justice was dispensed with mercy, fines 
being normally inflicted, capital punishment being disused, and 
mutilation restricted to rebels or brigands ; the revenues of the 
crown were derived mainly from land, and the royal officers and 
servants received regular salaries. Among Buddhists at least — 
and they still were very numerous — the rule of refraining from 
animal food or taking life was widely observed, and in many 
places butchers' shops and distilleries were unknown. What is 
of special interest is that he alone records a very significant proof 
of the revival of Brahmanism ; the Candalas or outcasts were 
obliged to live apart, and, when they approached a town or bazaar, 
to strike a piece of wood as a warning of their presence, in order 
that others might avoid pollution by contact with them. The 
emperors were clearly devotees of Visnu and attached to the 
Bhagavata faith, but religious toleration was still the order of 
the day, and the signs of the decadence of Buddhism were con- 
cealed from Fa-hien's eyes. Nor is this surprising, for it is 
probable that Samudragupta himself was a friend of Vasubandhu 
when that Buddhist sage attended his father s coUrt.^ Samudra- 

' Foucher, ii. 756 ff. * Cf. Vamana’s evidence; Smith, EHI. pp. 346 ff. 


gupta, however, was careful to assert his devotion to Brahmanical 
ideals; thus he renewed the ancient horse sacrifice as a sign off 
bis paramount sway, and Kumaragupta appears to have followed 
his example. The centre of Gupta power, originally fixed at 
Pataliputra, seems clearly to have shifted during the reign of 
Candragupta II to Ujjayim, doubtless in order to secure the stead- 
fast adherence to the empire of the newly acquired lands. 

That such princes should favour poetry and fine arts was 
inevitable. Samudragupta was proud of his skill with the lute, 
and a coin depicts him playing that instrument. But a more 
secure support for his claims is afforded by the assertions of the 
panegyrist Harisena (c. 35^)> who assures us that his patron had 
a poetic style which was worth study and wrote poems which in- 
creased the poet’s spiritual treasure, and again that his title of 
king of poets, Kaviraja, was well grounded through his composi- 
tion of many poems deserving imitation by others. He delighted 
also in the society of the earnest students of literature, was inter- 
ested in the explanation and defence of holy scripture, and de- 
voted to music. Moreover, he won fame by removing the dis- 
crepancy between the poet’s art and riches, doubtless his chief 
merit in the eyes of many of his flatterers. Of his great son 
Candragupta we know that he adopted the title Vikramaditya, 
reminiscent of the legendary Vikramaditya of Ujjayinl, and it is 
certainly plausible to suggest that the fame of Vikramaditya as 
the patron of poets, attested in the late and in itself worthless 
legend of the Nine Jewels,^ was due to the literary distinction of 
Candragupta’s court. The list of Jewels runs Dhanvantari, 
Ksapanaka, Amarasinha, ^ahku, Vetala Bhatta, Ghatakarpara, 
Kalidasa, Varahamihira, and Vararuci. Of these Dhanvantari, as 
the author of a medical glossary, is older than Amarasinha, who 
also used Kalidasa ; the fourth and fifth are mere names ; Vara- 
hamihira definitely lived in the sixth century, and the dates of 
Ksapanaka as a lexicographer and of Vararuci are unknown. 
But we have a distinct corroboration of the idea of Candragupta 
as a patron of poets in the fact that his minister of external 
affairs, Virasena Kautsa ?aba, was interested in poetry. Probably 
the succeeding emperors manifested equal concern in poetry. 

1 Weber, ZDMG. xxii. 708 ff. ; Zachariae, indischen iVorterbikher, pp. 18 ff. ; 
Fleet, lA. xxx. 3 t. 


Nor is there any doubt that the drama must have flourished 
funder their patronage ; indeedit has been suggested that Can- 
dragupta's epithet ru/afy/m denotes maker of plays, which would 
make the king a predecessor of Harsa as a dramatist ; the 
accuracy of the rendering is not, however, beyond cavil. What, 
however, is certain is that Sanskrit was essentially the language 
of the court and of learned men ; even Buddhists such as 
Vasubandhu and Asanga resorted to it as a matter of course as 
the means of securing a respectful hearing for their doctrines. 
The disputes between the rival schools were probably friendly 
enough ; the Samkhya philosophy as expounded in the Kdrikd 
of l5varakrsna seems to have been the object of special attack 
by Vasubandhu, and Samudragupta’s interest in these matters 
^ may have been aroused by that teacher. 

2. Harisena and Vatsabhatti 

Fortune has enabled us to obtain an interesting insight into 
the poetry of the Gupta epoch by the preservation of two Pra- 
9astis, separated by about a century in time, the panegyric of 
Samudragupta inscribed on a pillar at Allahabad and composed 
by Harisena, perhaps in 345,^ and Vatsabhatti’s inscription in the 
temple of the sun at Mandasor, written in 473 ~ 4 » These inscrip- 
tions alone would suffice to prove abundantly the existence of 
a developed Kavya poetry during the whole period of the Gupta 
power, and in the first case we actually find a poet of distinct 
power, though he was foreign minister and general of the king. 

Harisena*s poem bears expressly the title Kavya, though it 
consists both of prose and verse. Its structure is similar to the 
delineation of kings adopted in the prose romances of Subandhu 
and Bana, in which all is crowded into a single long sentence, 
made up of relative clauses and adjectives and appositions heaped 
upon one another. In this case the whole poem is one sentence, 
including first eight stanzas of poetry, then a long prose sentence, 
and finally a concluding stanza. The thought is no less complex 
than the form, for the poet's ingenuity has been equal to the 
effort to connect the pillar with the emperor's fame. That, as 

' Cf. Festschrift Windisch, pp. 170 ff. ; The Digvijaya of Raghu (1915) ; 

Biihler, Die indischen Inschriften (1890) ; Smith, EH I. pp. 398 ff. 


usual in the Kavya, is personified as feminine and is regarded as 
having embraced the whole world so that no more room for it 
remains on earth. It passes therefore by the way of the pillar 
up to the abode of the gods. There it appears as the Ganges, 
and, pure as that stream, it overflows on heaven, atmosphere, and 
earth. The metre is no less elaborate than the thought; of seven 
verses preserved there are four metres, Sragdhara, Qardulavikrl- 
dita, Mandakranta, and PrthvL The style is markedly and un- 
deniably of the Vaidarbha or southern manner ; the verse eschews 
long compounds while the prose delights in them, one having no 
less than 120 syllables, though it is but fair to say that on the 
whole they are not difficult to understand. Of figures of sound 
alliteration is used, but sparingly ; metaphors are most used of 
the figures of sense, rarely similes and double entendres as in 
Samudragupta’s epithet sddhvasadhudhyapralayahetupurusasyd^ 
cintyasya, ‘ a hero unfathomable, the cause of the elevation of the 
good and the destruction of the bad (and thus a counterpart of 
the unfathomable absolute, which is the cause of the origin and 
the destruction of the world, and in which good and bad have 
their being) \ But Harisena spares us much of this ; he shows 
his skill rather by new turns of ingenious thought, and by the 
care with which his long compounds are relieved by the inter- 
position of short words to give the reciter time to recover breath 
and the hearer to understand the sense, and by the cunning 
arrangement of words in the compounds themselves in order to 
produce the maximum of metrical effect. His choice of words and 
care in their arrangement are no less seen in his verses, of which 
one certainly has the right to be ranked as among the most 
perfect effects of Indian miniature word pictures, the description 
of the scene when before his rivals and the court Candragupta in 
his old age designated Samudragupta as his successor : 

dryo hlty upaguhya bhdvapigunair utkarnitai romabhih 
sabhyesucchvasitesu tulyakulajamldndnanodviksitah 

snehavydlulitena bdspagurund tattveksind caksusd 
yak pitrdbhihito niriksya nikhilam pdhy evam urvitn hi, 

‘ “ He is noble ”, with these words he embraced him, tremors of joy 
betraying his emotion ; he gazed on him with tear-filled eyes, 
following his every movement, and weighing his worth — the 


courtiers sighed in relief and gloomy were the faces of his kins- 
folk — and said to him, Do thou protect all this earth 
Very different is the work of Vatsabhatti,^ no minister of an 
emperor but a humble local poet, glad to earn a fee by writing 
for the guild of silk-weavers of a provincial town. What is inter- 
esting in him is his testimony to the prevalence of the Kavya in 
his time ; the adjective purvd, above, is used as sufficient descrip- 
tion of his poem, the missing pragastU eulogy, being so naturally 
supplied by those familiar with current verse. He asserts that 
his work was done with effort or care {yatnena), and there is every 
evidence of the truth. In obedience to the laws of poetics he 
inserts in his forty-four stanzas descriptions both of Lata and of 
the town Da9apura, of the seasons, winter and spring, and shows 
by the use of twelve metres his skill in veisification, though the 
effect is marred by his Inability to bring off his results without 
free use of the weak caesura. His style is the eastern or Gauda, 
as is clearly proved by his love of long compounds in verse, and 
by the way in which in one stanza he has fitted the sound of the 
verses to the altering sentiment, advancing from soft harmonious 
sounds in describing the gentleness of his hero to discords when 
proclaiming him dvitdrptapaksaksapanaikadaksah, ‘peerless in 
destroying the proud hosts of the foe \ His alliterations, similes, 
and metaphors all are of types abundant in the Kavya, but his 
skill is small, and his poem is disfigured by tautologies as in 
tulyopammdni, the use of verse-fillers or needless particles as in 
tatas tUy or prefixes as in abhivibhdtiy or words as in samudranta^ 
while sprgaimiva for the necessary neuter and nyavasanta are 
offences against grammar. But his panegyric is invaluable 
testimony to the widespread cultivation of Sanskrit poetry and it 
helps definitely to aid us in determining the date of India’s 
greatest poet. 

3. Kalidasas Life 

We know nothing whatever of value from later sources re- 
garding the life and character of Kalidasa.^ Anecdotes are told 

* Biihler, Die tndischen Inschriftmy pp. 31 ff. 

* On his date see Liebich, IF. xxxi, 198 ff. ; Keith, Sanskrit Dramay pp. 143 ff. ; 
Hillebrandt, Kalidasa (1921). S. Ray (POCP. I9i9> i» p. lix) held him to be 

^Agnimitra’s court poet {c, 150 B. c.), but K. G. Sankar (IHQ. i. 309(1.) puts him 
J between 75 and 25 B. c. 



asserting that he was originally extremely stupid, and won skill 
in poetry by the favour of Kali, an obvious deduction from his 
name, slave of Kali. He is alleged also to have shown remark- 
able skill in the ready manufacture of verses to order, either to 
describe a given situation or to complete an imperfect stanza, and 
a more circumstantial legend^ tells of his murder in Ceylon 
while a guest of King Kumaradasa at the hands of a greedy 
hetaira. There is not the slightest ground to accept the sugges- 
tion, still less to find in it an indication of date, Kalidasa’s visit 
to Ceylon on this view being due to the Hun inroads. His own 
poems, on the other hand, and especially the description of 
Raghu’s conquests, prove him intimately acquainted with many 
Indian scenes, the sandal of Kashmir, the pearl fisheries of 
the TamraparnI, the deodars of the Himalayas, the betel and 
coco-palms of Kalinga, the sand of the Indus, but it would be 
hazardous to claim for him any part in the great expedition of 
Samudragupta when he won his right to perform the horse 
sacrifice as a sign of his paramount power in India, 

Nonetheless it is difficult to dissociate Kalidasa from the great 
moments of the Gupta power, ^He was later than A^vaghosa 
and than the dramatist Bhasa ; he knew Greek terms, as his use 
of jdmitra proves, the Prakrit of his dramas i? decidedly later 
than A^vaghosa’s and Bhasa’s, and he cannot be put before the 
Gupta age. His, complete acceptance of the Brahmanical system, 
the sense of sharing in a world of prosperity and power, the 
mention of the horse sacrifice in the Mdlavikdgnimitra, Raghu’s 
conquests in the Raghuvanga^ seem best explicable as the out- 
come of the enjoyment of the protection of a great Gupta ruler, 
and we must remember that Candragupta II had the style of 
Vikramaditya, with whose name tradition consistently connects 
Kalidasa. ®^or is it absurd to see in the title Kumdrasambhava 
a hint at the young Kumaragupta, the heir apparent, or even in 
Vikramorvagl an allusion to the title Vikramaditya. It has been 
attempted to refer Kalidasa to the sixth century by making the 
Vikramaditya of tradition the Ya9odharman ^ who defeated the 

' Geiger, Lit» und Sprache der Singhalesen^ pp. 3 ff. ; Rhys-Davids, JRAS. 1 881 
pp. 148 ff.; Bendall, p. 440; Nandargikar, pp. v ff. ; Vidyabhusana, 
POCP. 1919, i, p. clxxii, 

* Hoernle, JRAS. 1909, pp. 89 ff. 

KALIDASA’S life 8i 

Huns, but this theory is no longer in repute. More favour ^ has 
|been shown to the view that Kalidasa lived under Kumaragupta 
and Skandagupta, mainly on the score that Mallinatha and 
Daksinavartanatha ascribe to him in v. 14 of the Meghaduta 
a double entendre referring to Dignaga, the Buddhist logician, 
as a hostile critic, and that his own reference to the Hunas and 
the river Vahksu in the Raghuvahga alludes to the time when 
these warriors were still in the Oxus valley just before their 
defeat by Skandagupta. The first argument is invalidated by the 
grave improbability of the tasteless reference in the Meghaduta 
and by the fact that, even if it were real, Dignaga's date need not 
be later than 400. The second imputes to Kalidasa a desire to 
achieve historic realism quite out of keeping with his poetic aim, 
and irreconcilable with his mention of the Greeks as on the 
north-west frontier as well as the Parasikas, Kambojas and 
Hunas.^ 'That Kalidasa lived to see the Huna victories is most 
implausible, while his evident affection for Ujjayini suggests 
that he spent much of his time there under Candragupta's 
favour. ^ 

This conclusion is strongly supported by evidence culled from 
Vatsabhatti. Two of his verses run : 

calatpatdkdny abaldsandthdny : atyarthagukldny adhikonna- 

tadillatdcitrasitdbhrakuta- : tulyopamdndnV grhdni yatra. 

Kaildsatuhgagikharapratimdni cdnydny : dbhdnti dtrghava- 
labktni savedikdni 

gdndharvagabdafnukkardni nivistacitra- : karmdni lolakada- 

‘ The houses there, dazzling white and towering high, with their 
waving banners and tender maidens, are rivals of the cloud- 
pinnacles, snow-white, but stained by the lightning-creeper. Yet 
others match Kailasa’s lofty peaks, with their long balconies and 
seats of stone, as they resound with music, are decked with 
pictures, and are adorned with groves of waving plantains.* 

^ Gawronski, The Digvijaya of Raghu^ pp. i ff. ; Smith, EHI. p. 32i,n. i. 

* The term found in the epic was perhaps 6 rst used of the Hiung nu of the 
and cent. B. c. 




^ These stanzas can hardly be deemed other than an attempt to 
improve on v. 65 of the Meghaduta : 

vidyuivantam lalitavaniidk sendracdpam sacitrdh 
sanigltdya prahatamurajdh snigdhagambhiraghosam 
antastoyam manimayabhuvas tuhgam abhramlihdgrdh 
prasadds tvdih tulayitnm alam yatra tais tair vigesaih, 

* There the palaces can vie with thee at every point: their 
fair maidens rival thy lightning, their paintings thy rainbow, 
their drums beaten in concert thy lovely deep thundering, their 
jewelled floors thy water, their peaks that touch the sky thy 
height/ * To suppose that Kalidasa knew these clumsy verses of 
an obscure poetaster and turned them into the simple elegance 
of his verse is absurd ; to hold that a local poet appropriated 
and tried to improve on a verse of the great poet of Ujjayini 
is natural and simple, and, if confirmation were needed, it is 
supplied by the fact^ that v. 31 of the inscription deals simi- 
larly with vv. 2 and 3 of Canto v of the Rtusarnhara, Kalidasa 
then lived before A.D. 47a, and probably at a considerable dis- 
tance, so that to place him about A.D. 400 seems completely 
justified.^ • 

4 . The Rtusamhdra 

^ The opinion of India which makes the Rtusamhdra, cycle of 
the seasons, a youthful work of Kalidasa, has recently^ been 
assailed on many grounds. Thus it has been complained that 
the poem lacks Kalidasa’s ethical quality, that it is too simple 
and uniform, too easy to understand. The obvious reply is that 
there is all the difference between the youth and the maturity of 
a poet, that there is as much discrepancy between the youthful 
work of Virgil, Ovid, Tennyson, or Goethe, and the poems of 
their manhood as between Kalidasa’s primitiae and the rest 

* Kielhorn, GN. 1890, pp. 251 flf. 

* On the later emperors, see R. C. Majumdar, JPASB. 1921, pp. 249 ff. 

* Walter, Jndica, iii, 6ff. j Nobel, ZDMG. Ixvi. 275 ff. ; JRAS. 1913, pp. 401 ff. ; 
Hari Chand, Alir/jV/jja, pp. 240 ff. Contra Keith, JRAS. 1912, pp. 1066 ff.; 1913, 
pp. 410 ff.; Hillebrandt, Kalidasa, pp. 66 ff. Kielhorn, Biihler, Hultzsch, Mac- 
donell, von Schroeder, among others, accept Kalidasa’s authorship; often ed., e. g. 
Gajendragadkar, 1916. 


of his work. • Nor is it the slightest use to argue that Sanskrit 
poets differed from other poets since they were essent/ally 
learned and artificial ; the poets mentioned are precisely of the 
analogous type, men who worked steadily at their art until at 
their prime they could create structures which make their youthful 
attempts seem childish folly. In point of fact the Rtusamhdra 
is far from unworthy of Kalidasa, and, if the poem were denied 
him, his reputation would suffer real loss. The contention that 
Mallinatha commented on the other three of his poems but not 
on this is met effectively by the consideration that its simplicity 
rendered it poor game for the very learned commentator to deal 
with. The fact that the writers on poetics do not cite from the 
poem has an obvious explanation in the same fact ; these authors 
never exhibit the slightest trace of liking what is simple, and 
they could find in the later poems abundant material to use as 
illustration. More deplorable still are some of the aesthetical 
arguments adduced ; complaint is made that the poet begins 
with the summer, whereas the spring was the usual beginning of 
the year, forgetting that Kalidasa was not composing an almanac 
or writing a Shepheard's Calendar. Again, heat or its derivatives 
(tap) is found seven times in Canto i, as if this did not accord 
with summer, as does eagerness (saniutsukaiva) with the rains 
and longing (utkanth) with autumn. The poet is censured for 
asserting that the swans excel maidens in beauty of gait and the 
branches rob their arms of loveliness ; later, he was not guilty of 
such discourtesy. He mixes a metaphor in speaking of clouds 
as having the lightning as creeper ; as we have seen, Vatsabhat^i 
borrows -the phrase, and exploits two other verses of the poem, 
proving its antiquity and rendering most probable its authorship. 
It is objected that he uses here only the construction d mulatah^ 
in lieu of the ablative, though equally once only in the Kumdra- 
sambhava he has dmekhalam\ the freshness and liveliness of 
the seven verbal forms (ii. 19) is unparalleled and, therefore, not 
by Kalidasa. Even the lack of developed use of figures of 
speech is adduced against him, and the use of samhdra in the 
title has been questioned as unique. Poets happily do not feel 
themselves bound to be parrots.' 

* His developed style is seen in his pictures of spring (^Kumdras. iii ; Ragh. ix), and 
summer (^Ragk. xvi). 

G % 


The poem is far from a mere description of the seasons in 
their outward aspect) though Kalidasa exhibits delicate observa- 
tion and that loving sympathy with nature which seems innate 
in Indian poets. Throughout he insists on the relation of the 
diverse moods of the year to the loves of man and maiden or 
husband and wife. Though the days of summer are a burden, 
the nights are the more delightful, when the moon is bright and 
coolness refreshes the earth ; at midnight the young delight in 
song and dance and wine ; the moon in jealousy of youthful love 
retires in sorrow. The rainy season comes in kingly guise, the 
clouds the elephants which bear him, the lightning his standard, 
the thunder his drum. The emotion of love is awakened by the 
sight of the clouds which bend down to kiss the peaks of the 
mountains. Autumn comes like a young bride, clad in a garment 
of sugar cane, girdled with ripening rice, and with face of lotus 
blooms. Winter’s cold makes all the more welcome, all the 
more close and tender, the embraces of lovers. In the cool 
season the nights are cold, the moon shines chill, the lovers close 
the window of their chamber, wrap themselves warmly in their 
garments, and enjoy every moment of the still feeble rays of the 
sun, or rest beside the fire. But spring brings to them and to all 
nature new life and joy ; we see now why the poet begins with 
summer ; it enables him to end with the season in which young 
love, in harmony with the birth of a new year, is made perfect. 
^The poem in every line reveals youth ; the lack of the ethic 
touch * is in perfect accord with the outlook of the young, 
and though Kalidasa was to write much finer poetry, he was 
also to lose that perfect lucidity which is one of the charms of 
the poem to modern taste, even if it did not appeal to writers 
on poetics. <* 

5. The Meghaduta 

'•In distinction to the Rtmamhara the Meghaduta^ is un- 
questionably a work of Kalidasa’s maturity ; *the mere fact that 
he adopts for it and maintains throughout with only occasional 

1 Stenzler, ZDMG. xliv. 33, n. 3. 

* Ed. E. Hultzsch, London, 1911 (with Vallabhadeva*s comm.); ed. and trans. 
Pathak, Poona, 1916 ; ed. TSS. 54, 1919. 


harshness a metre so elaborate as the Mandakranta Is conclusive 
proof that he was no novice, though we may admit the possibility 
that he desired by this metrical tour de force to establish his 
capacity once and for all, and to exhibit himself as a great 
poet. 4 Suggestions for the subject-matter may have been taken 
from the Rdmdyana^ where Rama*s deep longing for his lost 
Sita offers an obvious prototype for the Yaksa’s sorrow for the 
wife from whom he is severed, and the description of the rainy 
season in iv. a8 has some points of similarity. But the idea is 
carried out with marked originality and beauty. • A Yaksa 
banished for a year by (Jiva his master, because of failure of 
duty, is reminded by the approach of the rainy season of his 
wife, lamenting him in their abode at Alaka, and begs a passing 
cloud to bear to his beloved the news of his welfare and the 
assurance of his devotion. From Ramagiri, his place of exile, 
the cloud is bidden go, in the company of the cranes and the 
royal swans en route for Lake Manasa, to the region of Mala and 
to mount Amrakuta. Thereafter it is to seek the Da5arna 
country with its city of Vidi9a, and then must drink the waters 
of the Vetravatl before proceeding to visit Ujjayini, after crossing 
the Nirvindhya and the Sindhu. The shrine of Mahakala must 
be visited, the Carmanvatl crossed, and the holy Brahmavarta 
after passing Da9apura ; there the cloud will visit the field of 
Kuruksetra, the scene of Arjuna’s great deeds, and drink the 
water of the Sarasvatl, for which Balarama, who fought not for 
love of his kin, abandoned his beloved wine. Thence it must go 
to where the Ganges descends from the Himalaya near mount 
Kanakhala, and then to Kailasa, passing through the gap of 
mount Kraunca which Para9urama made as a path to the south. 
Then the water of lake Manasa will refresh the cloud, and on the 
top of the mountain is Alaka where the beloved of the Yaksa 
dwells. The delights of the divine city are fully depicted, and 
the poet then describes to the cloud the home he is to seek out ; 
it can be seen from afar off through its archway ; in the garden 
is a coral tree, its mistress's pet, and a flight of emerald steps 
leads to a well in which golden lotuses grow, and the swans, 
delighted, think no more even of their beloved Manasa. There 
is the beloved, sorrowful, and blighted by separation, emaciated, 
^ There is in the Kamavildpa Jdtaka (ii. 443) a very distant parallel. 


seeking by many a device to while away the long days until her 
husband’s return. Gently she is to be wakened from her slumber 
by the cloud, which is to give her a message of tender love from 
her husband, and an assurance of his faith and certainty of 

At first sight the effect of the poem seems to be marred by an 
element of unreality in the longing of the Yaksa, whose separa- 
tion is but temporary and who as an attendant of Qiva cannot in 
truth fear either death or even injury for his beloved from his 
absence. The message would have read very differently had it 
been sent, as in Schiller’s Maria Stuart^ by a helpless captive 
awaiting in resignation or despair an ineluctable doom. But to 
understand the poem aright we must remember that the poet 
doubtless felt that it was, as later writers expressly allege, the 
duty of the poet to suggest rather than to say outright the 
loves of the two immortals is a symbol of human love ; perhaps ^ 
Kalidasa had some experience of his own which the poem 
indicates, for the vivid colours in which he describes the Yaksa’s 
abode seem to be drawn from real life. • Certainty is wholly 
unattainable, but in any event it is difficult to praise too highly 
cither the brilliance of the description of the cloud’s progress or 
the pathos of the picture of the wife sorrowful and alone. ^Indian 
criticism has ranked it highest among Kalidasa’s poems for 
brevity of expression, richness of content, and power to elicit 
sentiment, and the praise is not undeserved. ^ 

Popularity has had the penalty of many interpolations of the 
text. There is a remarkable mass of evidence available ; in the 
eighth century Jinasena, applying the art of S^masyapurana, 
worked the whole of the text of 120 verses as he knew it into an 
account of the life of the Jaina saint Pai ^vanatha ; ^ it exists in 
a Tibetan^ version in the Tanjur, and in a Sinhalese rendering ; 
many stanzas are quoted in works on poetics ; it was repeatedly ^ 
imitated from the Pavanaduta of Dhol in the twelfth century 
onwards ; we have from that century and later many com- 

* Bhau Daji, Lit, Ran.y pp. 50 f. 

* Pathak's ed. (1916) rests on this. A Nemiduta of Vikrama in 125 verses ends 
each with a line from a rather interpolated text. 

* H. Beckh, Ein Beiirag zur Textkritik des Kalidasas Meghaduta (1907); 
G. Huth, SBA. 1895, pp. 268 ff., 281 ff. ; date 13th cent. 

* Aufrccht, ZDMG. liv. 616, mentions other imitations; cf. IHQ. iii. 273 ff. 


mentaries, including that of Vallabhadeva,^ who gives iii verses, 
of Daksinavartanatha {c. laoo), who has 110, and of Mallinatha,® 
who has 1 1 8. 

Inevitably many other lyric poems were ascribed to Kalidasa, 
including two of some merit, the GAafakarpara and the frngdra^ 
iilaka, but there is no real probability of proving them his. 

6. The Kumarasambhava 

* High as Indian opinion ranks the Meghaduta^ which won also 
the commendation of Goethe,^ to modern taste the Kumdra^ 
sambhava ^ appeals more deeply by reason of its richer variety, 
the brilliance of its fancy, and the greater warmth of its feeling. ♦ 
The Meghaduta has, with reason, been ascribed the merit of 
approaching more closely than any other Indian poem to the 
rank of an elegy ;i 1 ;he Kumarasambhava varies from the loveliness 
of the spring and the delights of married love to the utter 
desolation induced by the death of the beloved. •The subject 
is unquestionably a daring one, the events which bring about the 
marriage of the highest god ^iva to Uma and the birth of 
Skanda, the war god, and Anandavardhana^ tells us that there 
were critics who deemed it wrong to depict the amour of two 
deities. Still less permissible does the subject naturally appear 
to modern taste, unless we realize that as in the Meghaduta we 
must see the poet's power of suggestion ; the wedlock of (jpiva 
and Uma is no mere sport, no episode of light love such as that 
of Zeus with Danae or many another, r From this union springs 
a power destined to perform the slaying of the demon Taraka, 
who menaces the world with destruction ; moreover, their nup- 
tials and their love serve as the prototype for human marriage 
and human love, and sanctify with divine precedent the forces 
which make the home and carry on the race of men. 

^ Hultzsch places him in the loth cent., but see Pathak’s cd., pp. xiv ff. He knew 
Bilhana and Hemacandra, but is cited in 1140 A. D. 

* This famous commentator, who also explained the epics of Kalidasa, Bharavi, 
Bhatti, and Magha, and Vidyadhara's Ekavali (sec ed., pp. xxivff.) lived c. 1400. 

A comm, on the Nalodaya is given, Madras CataL^ xx. 7923. 

* Cf. von Schroeder, Indiens Lit, und Cultur^ p. 548. 

^ Ed. NSP. 1906; i-viii, TSS. 1913-14; i-vii, trans. R. H. Griffith, London, 

® iii. 6, p. 137. Mammata disagrees. 


The poem begins with a brilliant piece of description of the 
Himalaya, the abode of Qiva. Kalidasa, unlike many a classical 
and even modern poet, had no hatred of mountains ; his fancy 
makes them the dwelling of merry sprites who play in their 
caves, round which eddy the clouds, affording welcome screens 
for the maidens when they undress ; the wind, wet with the 
drops of the streams of the Ganges as it descends from heaven, 
beats on the trunks of the deodars, and bends the peacock 
feathers, the scanty dress of the gnomes who chase the antelope. 
In marked contrast to this innocent frolic sits Qiva, sunk in 
deepest meditation, and on him with other maidens waits Uma, 
born of the mountain god himself, plucking flowers to offer to 
him, and fetching water and grass for his service. Canto ii 
shows us the gods in deep distress, for a demon Taraka has 
arisen to menace them, and Brahman himself can afford no aid, 
for he has accorded him his protection, and even a poison tree 
cannot be cut down, if one has reared it oneself. Only Qiva can 
aid, Qiva who surpasses Brahman and Visnu in glory, and, if 
Uma can win him, from them will spring a deliverer. Indra 
then seeks the aid of Kama, god of love, to win Qiva's heart for 
Uma. The next Canto shows Kama ready and willing to effect 
the end desired if Spring will be his comrade as well as his dear 
wife Rati. There follows a brilliant picture of the new life and 
love awakened in nature by the advent of Spring with Kama, 
but the sight of Qiva seated still as a flame when no wind blows, 
a cloud without rain, daunts even Kama’s heart and he quails. 
But Uma with her friends appears, and Qiva is begged to hearken 
to their devotions ; he feels himself strangely moved, and glan- 
cing sees Kama on the point of discharging at him his deadly 
arrow. One fiery glance from the god*s eye reduces him to ashes. 
Then follows (iv) a brilliant and touchingly pathetic picture 
of the lament of Rati for her dead husband ; she will not 
accept the consolation urged on her by Spring ; instead she bids 
him heap the pyre so that she may follow him in death. But 
her fatal purpose is stayed by a voice from on high, which 
assures her of reunion with her beloved when Qiva shall have 
relented and taken Uma to spouse. In sorrowful hope Rati con- 
tinues her life. 

The first throw has failed and Uma is bitterly disappointed. 


bitterly ashBtned. She determines, despite all protests, to per- 
form asceticism until she wins her desire; in summer she exposes 
herself to the appalling heat and smoke of four fires, in winter 
lies in icy water, in the rains sleeps on the naked rock. As she 
is engaged in these acts a hermit appears before her and 
questions her ; from her sighs he learns that she loves, and from 
her maids who that lover is. He proceeds to depict in appalling 
colours the god of her desire, but she fiercely and bitterly 
rebukes his attacks ; delighted he reveals himself as ^iva incar- 
nate (v). All now is ripe for the wedding, but Kalidasa detains 
us with a gay picture of the solemn scenes which lead up to it. 
The Seven Seers themselves with Arundhati come as wooers 
from ^iva to seek the maiden’s hand ; she stands, eyes downcast, 
counting the leaves on the lotus in her hand, at her father's side^ 
while his eyes wander to the face of his consort, for in matters 
affecting their daughters householders are wont to obey their 
wives’ desires (vi). The wedding follows, described, doubtless 
from the model of imperial ceremonies, with rich abundance of 
detail ; the mother, in her excitement between joy and sorrow, 
cannot see to place correctly the painted mark on her daughter’s 
forehead, and misplaces the woollen marriage thread which the 
nurse, more calm and practical, sets aright. 

With this ends the poem in many manuscripts ; others add 
ten cantos. Of these Canto viii describes, according to the 
principles of the Kama^astra, the joys of the wedded pair ; 
doubtless such frankness is abhorrent to western taste, but the 
doubts of its genuineness which have been expressed are clearly 
groundless ; it seems certainly ^ to have been known to Bharavi, 
to Kumaradasa, and to Magha, and quotations from it occur in 
the writers on poetics. Nor in poetic skill is it in the least 
inferior to Kalidasa’s work. The case ^ is other with the following 
cantos. They tell of Agni’s approach, first in dove shape, then in 
his proper person, to ^iva as he prolongs for centuries the joys of 
dalliance, begging his aid. From the seed of ^iva, cast in the 

^ See Walter, Indica, iii. ar, 25 f., who suggests use of viii. 63 in Vikramorvaql, 
iii. 6. 

* Jacobi, OC.V. ii, 2. 133 flf. i-viii are used in the Qahkarasaihhitd of the Skanda 
Purdna, but it in ix-xvii; Weber, ZD MG. xxvii. 179 if., l9off. ; Pandit, iii. 19 if., 

85 ff. 


Ganges and shared by the six Krttikas, Pleiades, Kumara is 
miraculously born, and grows up delighting his parents by his‘ 
childish play. But the gods are in terror, the city of the gods is 
dismayed through Taraka ; Indra comes to demand help; Qiva 
grants his prayer and assigns Kumara to the task. The great 
host of Taraka is described in Canto xiv, then the portents which 
warn him not to war (xv). Blinded by pride he refuses, bids his 
young opponent go back to his father and mother rather than 
fight, assails him with his whirlwinds and magic fire, until pierced 
to the heart he falls dead. The poem thus goes far beyond the 
birth of Kumara as its title promises, and the inferiority of the 
new cantos is obvious on every ground. The metre is carelessly 
handled ; in five cases caesura is neglected at the end of the first 
and third verses of the (Jloka, a negligence quite foreign to 
Kllidasa ; the same carelessness is seen six times in Upajati 
stanzas, where too weak caesuras— at the end of a compound, not 
of a word — are used far more often than by Kalidasa. In order 
to manage his metres the poet has to resort to versefillers, 
abhorred of really good writers ; su is repeatedly thus used, as 
well as sadyah and alam ; the constant use of periphrasis is 
doubtless due to the same cause : the writer expends much 
ingenuity in coining new designations for his characters, and is 
so fond of the superfluous anta at the end of compounds — which 
we have seen in Vatsabhatti— that Jacobi has conjectured that 
he was a Maratha, in view of the Marathi locative amt. In the 
later manner is the free use of prepositional compounds and the 
impersonal passive with subject in the instrumental ; the former 
use just appears in Kalidasa, the latter is common from Bharavi 
onwards. Moreover, save occasionally, as in the battle scene, 
the poetical value of the cantos is small, and in confirmation of 
the internal evidence it may be added that neither commentators 
nor writers on poetics cite them nor are imitations found in 
later poets. 

Of Kalidasa’s model for his poem we know nothing, but we 
can trace in it the influence of Valmiki. In the Rdnidyana ^ we 
have a brilliant picture of the contrast of the beauty of spring in 
the Kiskindha forest as contrasted with the ceaseless sorrow of 
Rama, bereft of Sita, nor can we doubt that this has influenced 


Kalidasa to draw the wonderful picture of Spring’3 advent and 
the revival of the youth and life of the world. There is a parallel 
too for Ratfs despair I ; when Valin falls Tara addresses him 
with words not less sincere because they bear the stamp of the 
classic style : ‘ Why dost thus speak no more to thy beloved ? 
Arise and share this fair couch with me ; the best of men lie not, 
as thou, on the ground. Too dear dost thou hold, o lord, the 
earth even in death, since me thou dost leave alone and her hast 
clasped in thine embrace. Ended our days of joy together in the 
fair forest ; sunken am I in a deep sea of sorrow, without joy, 
without sustenance, since thus hast departed. Hard my heart 
that it can see thee stretched on the ground and yet not break 
from sorrow.* Hints too for the demon Taraka are clearly taken 
from the description of Ravana in the Rdmdyana?^ There are 
doubtless reminders here and there of A9vaghosa,^ as in the 
description of the actions ^ of the women of the city on the advent 
of ^iva and Parvati, which has a prototype in the description in the 
Buddhacarita ® of the entrance of the prince, and which is taken 
up again in the description in the Raghuvahga ® of the entry of 
Aja and Indumati. 

The problem why the poem was never finished by its author 
remains insoluble. The loss of the last pages of a solitary manu- 
script may be the explanation, but it is far more likely that the 
poet, deterred' either by contemporary criticism of his treatment 
of the divine pair, or by the feeling that the legend of the birth 
with its strangeness and miracles was not a true theme for poetry, 
abandoned the purpose and left his work unfinished. It can 
hardly be claimed that death intervened, for there can be no 
doubt that the Raghuvahga is a later work. This shows itself 
both in the graver tone, in the references to the Yoga philosophy 
and the less personal conception of the universe as compared 
with the magnification of Qiva in the Kumdrasambhava, and in 
the growing pedantry seen in the use of similes derived from 
grammar, of which we have only modest suggestions in the 
Kumar asambhava? Thus Rama’s army follows him to serve 

* iv, 23; cf. vi. Ill (of Ravana). 

* Cf. also R&m. vi. 124, 45 with xiii. 36. * Cf. Walter, Indica^ iii. 11 ff. 

* vii. 56-69. ® iii. i 3 - 24 » 

* vii. 5-16. 

’ ii. 27 ; vii, 69 ; Raghuvan^a^ xii. 58 ; xi. 56 ; i. i; xv. 7, 9. 


his purpose as the prefix adhi is followed by the root i to 
make the word adhyayana ; Sugriva is put in Valin’s place as 
king as a substitute replaces the root, and husband and wife are 
theme and suffix. Moreover, in the constant paral leis between 
the two poems, as in the description of the marriage rites, the 
priority seems to belong to the Kumarasambhava ; it is curious 
that Kalidasa shows a distinct love of using the same metre for 
the same theme ; thus in both we have the ^loka used in 
prayers,' death is described in the ViyoginI,* a ruined state in the 

7 . The Raghuvahga 

‘‘Though inferior in some slight degree to the Kumarasambhava, 
the Raghuvahfa may rightly be ranked as the finest Indian 
specimen of the Mahakavya as defined by writers on poetics.' 
Da^din * lays down that the subject should be taken from old 
narratives or traditions, not therefore invented ; the hero should 
be noble and clever; there should be descriptions of towns, 
oceans, mountains, seasons, the rising and setting of the sun and 
the moon, sport in parks or the sea, drinking, love-feasts, separa- 
tions, marriages, the production of a son, meeting of councils, 
embassies, campaigns, battles, and the triumph of the hero, 
though his rival’s merits may be exalted. It should not be too 
compressed, and it should be replete with sentiments iyasa) and 
the emotions which underlie them {bhdva). It should have 
effective transitions (sandhi), an allusion to the five stages of 
action. recognized by the writers on drama, by which from its 
opening the movement advances after a halt to the central 
moment, pauses, and reaches the denouement. The metres must 
be charming, and each Canto, which should not be too long, 
should end with a change of metre. The poem should begin 
with a prayer, paying homage or in addition invoking a blessing, 
or an indication of the subject-matter. It should promote the 
ends of Dharma, conduct, Artha, worldly success, Moksa, final 
release, and Kama, love. 

* Kum. ii. 4-16 ; Ragh. x. 16-32. • Kum. iv ; Ragh. vii. 

^ Kum. xiii ; Ragh, xvi. 

♦ i. aaff. 


< The Raghuvanga ' is true to the type, for the central figure is 
"Ratna, though in accord with the title the poem first sketches 
the history of the dynasty of the sun-born kings, descendants of 
the Iksvaku ' whose name occurs in the ^gveda, and whose 
family is renowned in the epic and the Puranas. ♦ This wide 
theme gives the poet full space to exercise his power of descrip- 
tion ; war and the coronation of a king, the choosing of her mate 
by a young princess at a Svayarhvara, the marriage rite, the loss 
of a darling life and the grief of the bereaved husband, town and 
country, the seasons, the incidents of a great Digvijaya, the 
triumphal progress of a king who seeks to conquer the earth, all 
form occasions for the poet’s skill. The poem carries us at once 
into an atmosphere strange to us ; Dilipa is king but childless ; 
he learns that by chance when returning from a visit to Indrahe 
has failed to show reverence to his sacred cow, who has cursed 
him ; to make amends he determines to follow in worship the 
movements of her daughter, NandinI, on earth ; dutifully he 
carries out his vow, saves her from a lion by offering his own 
body in exchange, and NandinI accords him the wish of his 
heart. Soon the father gazes, with eyes as still as lotus blossoms 
shielded from the wind, on the lovely face of his son, his heart 
overflows as the sea at the sight of the moon. The young 
Raghu waxes fast, is given the rank of Crown Prince and bidden 
guard the horse that must wander for a year before his father 
can perform the sacred horse sacrifice ; the steed disappears, but 
with Nandini’s aid Raghu’s eyes are opened until he can see 
where in the east Indra has taken the horse. Vainly he strives 
against the god, but pleased by his valour he accords him every 
wish save the return of the horse, and the gallant youth demands 
that his father shall have the full fruit of the sacrifice. The 
offering performed, Dilipa gives to his son the white parasol, 
emblem of sovereignty, and, true to his family’s rule, retires to 
the life of an ascetic in the forest (i-iii). Canto iv recounts the 
knightly adventures of Raghu as conqueror of India j he advances 
against the Suhmas, defeats the princes of Bengal, and erects 
pillars of victory on the islands of the Ganges ; neither the 
elephants nor the arrow hail of Kalinga stay his course, Ma- 

> Ed. S. P. Pandit, BSS. 1869-74: Nandargikar, Bombay, 1897: trans. Walter, 
Munich, 1914. 


hendra yields, the KaverJ is crossed, the south invaded, the 
Patidyas pay tribute of pearls. Thence the hero bends his path 
north, through the Malaya and Dardura hills, the sea of his host 
covers the long slopes of the Sahya mountain, the dust of the 
army clings to the hair of the ladies of Kerala, the Murala river, 
the Trikuta hill witness his fame. Thence by land, as a pious 
king, not by the polluting sea, he advances against the Persians 
and the Yavanas, Greeks; the dust of the conflict hides the 
warring hosts whose presence is revealed by the twang of their 
bows alone, the bearded foemen cover thick the ground, those 
who escape death cast off their helms in token of submission ; 
the victors wearied slake their thirst with wine. Next Raghu 
bids his steeds roll in the Indus — a variant has Oxus — sands, 
overthrows Hunas and Kambojas; the winds of the Himalaya 
set the reeds hymning his victories. The mountain folk feel his 
power, fire flashes from the mountain-sides beneath the rain of 
spears and arrows, and the folk of the Utsavas lose for ever their 
joy in festivals (utsavd). The Lauhitya is crossed, Pragjyotisa 
subdued, and Kamarupa yields tribute of wild elephants. 

• In this spirited and martial narrative we may justly see the 
reflex in the poet’s mind of Samudragupta’s great conquests,^ and 
with customary skill the subject changes in Canto v to a very 
different theme. Raghu’s generosity impoverishes him ; when 
a Brahmin Kautsa begs him to aid him to meet the vast de- 
mands of his teacher, he resolves to storm the treasure-house of 
Kubera, god of wealth, but a rain of gold saves him from impiety. 
The Brahmin’s gratitude secures him a son, Aja, who soon 
equals* his father. * Bidden to take part in the Svayarhvara, at 
which the sister of a kingly neighbour will choose her mate, he 
sets forth ; on the way he boldly attacks a monstrous wild 
elephant, which under his stroke changes to a Gandharva, con- 
demned by a curse to wear this shape until released by the blow 
of an Iksvakuid’s arrow, who gives him in reward a magic 
weapon. Canto vi presents us with a brilliant picture of the 
Svayamvara ; the princess, with her companion Sunanda beside 
her, passes by prince after prince as they stand eager before her ; 

* This fact renders it far more probable that his A9vamedha is that present to 
Kalidasa’s mind than that of Kumaragnpta, of whom we have no record of great 
military achievements. 


none please her, one is a dicer, therefore bad as a man ; in vain 
Sunanda presses on her Anga’s lord; he has all merits, but tastes 
vary. In revenge she bids Indumatl pass on, when she notes 
that her heart is won by Aja, but the maiden 'ays shame aside, 
and accords to him the coronal which marks him as her spouse. 
The marriage ceremony is performed, the young pair set out 
home, but the shamed princes have planned revenge, and re- 
solved to take away by force the princess. Aja wages fierce 
battle with them, in the end the Gandharva’s gift prevails, and 
he takes from his foes their honour, though he spares their lives 
(vii). His reign is fortunate; while Raghu as a hermit tames 
the senses, Aja destroys the foes of his realm, and, when Raghu 
dies, he pays him all the honours of a Yogin’s funeral. But 
a fatal misfortune awaits him ; a garland from the sky blown by 
the wind falls on Indumati’s breast and slays her, though in truth 
for her death means release from her mortal bondage imposed on 
her, in reality an Apsaras, through a curse. No consolation is 
this thought to Aja ; in vain is he reminded ol the folly of 
mourning for the dead who are burnt by the tears of the living , 
in vain every consolation regarding the shortness of life and ^he 
duty of kings is urged on him ; broken-hearted, he dies an i ipa 
reigns in his place. Of him Canto ix has no concrete facts to tell 
us, until after a brilliant description of spring we are told ot We 
fatal hunt, when, after displaying equal prowess and pitj^ Uilipa 
in pursuit of an elephant mortally wounds a Brahmin boy ; he 
bears the dying youth to his aged parents, and hears the curse 
of a like doom. In Canto x we leave the realities of life to learn 
of the magic incarnation of Visnu in the sons born to Dilipa ; m 
xi Rama’s youth, his visit to Vigvamitra’s hermitage where he 
slays the demon Tadaka, his journey to Janaka’s court, where e 
wins at the Svayamvara the hand of Sita, and his overthrow of 
Para^urama, who recognizes in him the godhead, are J 
counted. The banishment of Rama by Kaikeyi s device, the h e 
of Rama and Sita in the forest, her capture by Ravana, the search 
for Lanka,' the crossing of the ocean with the monkey horde, and 
the great battle between Rama and Ravana, described in vivid 
colours, bring us to Canto xii in which Kalidasas descriptive 

1 Cf. for its situation M. V. Kibe, Kawand’s Lanka Discovered (1910). Hopkins 
{Great Epic, p. 8o) appears to accept Ceylon as Lanka. 


powers find congenial subject-matter in describing the sights of 
India as seen from the aerial car on which Rama and Sita return 
to Ayodhya. 

Then follows a series of brilliant sketches ; Rama and Sita 
visit the widows of the king, who scarce can see them for their 
tears, which speedily change to joy. Sita alone weeps for the 
trouble her beauty has brought her husband, a foreboding of woe. 
For the moment all is brightness ; the glorious ceremonial of the 
royal consecration follows. But disaster is at hand ; malicious 
voices reproach the king whose one wife has stayed so long in 
Ravana*s home. Rama places duty above love ; he bids Laks- 
mana take Sita — now pregnant — to Valmiki’s hermitage, and 
there break to her the truth of her fate ; overwhelmed, she de- 
plores her lot but utters no reproach. Rama rules in solitude, 
her sculptured form his companion in his sacrifices (xiv). From 
his sorrow he is awakened to overthrow demon foes on the 
Yamuna banks, while in the hermitage Sita bears two boys who, 
taught by Valmiki the tale of their father’s deed, console her 
sorrowing heart by reciting it. The day comes when Rama 
determines to perform the horse sacrifice ; he rests in a hut be- 
side the golden statue of his wife ; he hears from the boys the 
song of his deeds ; the people, Rama himself recognize them for 
his own, Valmiki begs reinstatement for the queen. Rama asks 
only that her stainless purity be made clear ; she comes before 
him, swears to her truth as she drinks the holy water ; the earth 
goddess appears and takes her in her bosom to bear her to the 
realm below. Rama transfers to his sons the burdens of the 
state, saddened by the restoration of Sita only to be lost forth- 
with ; in due course, followed by all the people, he goes forth 
from the town and is caught up in a heavenly chariot. 

The effective and pathetic picture of Sita’s end and the return 
to heaven of Rama might well have closed the poem, but 
Canto xvi is not without merit. Ku9a, Rama’s son, reigns at 
Ku9avati ; in a dream Ayodhya appears to him in the guise of 
a woman whose husband is afar, reproaches him with her fallen 
condition, and bids him return. Ku9a obeys, Ayodhya once 
more is glorious, and a description of the delights of summer 
rivals, but fails to equal, that of spring in Canto ix. For the rest 
the poem sinks in interest, as Kalidasa has nothing to tell us but 


names of worthless kings whose harems supplied their sole 
interest in life. We cannot deny ^ his authorship of Cantos xviii 
and xix ; no ancient authority questions them, and they are cited, 
if rarely, by writers on poetics. But their brevity and the utter 
abruptness of the end, when the widow of Agnivarman, a worth- 
less debauchee, is awaiting the birth of her child, suggest that we 
have no more than a rough draft. Yet we would gladly assign 
to a poetaster meaningless puns on names of kings, as when 
Pariyatra is merely said to have exceeded in height the Pari- 
yatra mountains, or the incredible tastelessness of the action of 
a king who hangs his foot out of the window for the people to 

Valmiki, of course, is the chief creditor* of Kalidasa in this 
poem. Here and there one certainly surpasses the other ; though 
normally the advantage lies with the younger poet, yet there are 
exceptions. Fine as is Kalidasa’s picture of Rama s meeting 
with the sons who know him not, it yet is still more affecting in 
the leisurely march of the epic, and Kalidasa has failed to 
improve on the scene of Slta’s vindication. But his merit shines 
out in such cases as his description of the return to AyodhyS ; 
future poets were to imitate it, but not one^^to equal it. 

No other epic of Kalidasa has come down to uS, and the rela- 
tion in time of his epics to his dramas is insoluble. The sugges- 
tion that he is responsible for the Setubandha^ which relates 
the tale of Rama from the advance against Ravana and the build- 
ing of the bridge to Lanka down to Ravana s death, is excluded 
by the style, with its innumerable plays on words, alliterations, 
recondite similes, exaggeration, and its enormous compounds. 
Its date is uncertain, as of Pravarasena of Kashmir^ its author or 
patron we know nothing definite. Still more ludicrous is the 
suggestion that the Nalodaya ® is his ; that rimed poem of 

* As docs Hillcbrandt, Kalidasa^ pp. 42 f. They seem known to the Aihole inscr. 
(EL vi. 8 f.) of Ravikirti who boasts his rivalry with Kalidasa and Bharavi. For un- 
evenness in great poets cf. Aeneid v as criticized by Tynell, Latin Poetry, pp, 153 f. 

* On alleged use of the Padtna Purdna^ see H. ^arma, Calc, Or, Series, 17. 

* Ed. and trans. S. Goldschmidt, 1880-4. Date before Bana, perhaps late 6th 
cent., Stein, Pd/atarangim, i. 66, 84 f. 

* That the Vikafaka Pravarasena had anything to do with the poem seems quite 

* Ed. and trans. W. Yates, Calcutta, 1844; Bhandarkar, Report, 1883-4, p. 16; 
A. R. S. Ayyar, JRAS. 1925, pp. 363 ff., who ascribes V^udeva as author also of the 

JM 9 H 


intolerable affectation is perhaps not the production of Ravideva, 
author of the Raksasakavya^ of equal demerit, before the seven- 
leeulVv century, but the work of Vasudeva, prot^g^ of Kula 9 ek- 
hara and Rama. 

8. Kalidasas Thought 

•As Sophokles seems to have found his perfect milieu in the 
Athens of Perikles’ happy days, so Kalidasa appears to us as the 
embodiment in his poems, as in his dramas, of the Brahmanical 
ideal of the age of the Guptas, when order had been restored to 
a troubled earth, foreigners assimilated or reduced, and prosperity 
broadcast.^# Ingenuity® has traced in the history of the first five 
of the rulers in the Raghuvahga an exemplar of the exploits of 
the first five of the Gupta kings ; granted that Kalidasa may 
have known and profited by the literary activity of Harisena, 
which doubtless extended far beyond the one inscription which 
has come down to us, still we may safely doubt any such 
parallelism. But Kalidasa does represent, if we may judge from 
his poetry, the complete carrying out of the rule of life laid down 
for a Brahmin or a warrior or clansman. Youth, in this view, is 
the time for study under a teacher, then follows the period of 
manhood with its happy wedlock, then in stages that of the 
hermit whose mind is set on things eternal. The scheme is in 
many ways perfectly adapted to Indian life ; it starves no side 
of man’s life ; four aims of existence are recognized by Kalidasa 
himself, who finds them embodied in the sons of Dillpa, them- 
selves reflexes of Visnu himself. They are duty, governing 
man’s whole life ; the pursuit of wealth and of love, the occupa- 
tions of his manhood ; and release, the fruit of his meditations in 
old age. We may not share the affection of Indian and even of 
a section of modern taste for the erotic scenes of the last cantos 
of the Raghuvahga, but we must not regard them as the outpour- 
ings of a sensual mind. The sages of the Upanisads themselves 
deemed marriage obligatory and the Brhaddranyaka gives the 

YudhU^hiravijaya^ Tripuradahana^ and Qaurikathodaya^ all rimed, to the 9th cent. 
The date is Improbable ; ZII. iv, 726 f. 

' Cf. M. T. Narasimhiengar, lA, xxxix. 336 fT. with Hillebrandt, Kdliddsat 
pp. 137 ff. 

* A. GawroAski, Tht Digvijaya of Raghu (1915). 


spell to obtain a male son ; the saintly Qvctaketu is deemed an 
authority on the KamasUtra, and^Kalidasa expressly claims the 
divine precedent of ?iva and Uma as sanction for the most 
passionate married love. Statecraft again is essentially part of 
the material ends of life, and not only does he paint in Rama an 
ideal ruler, but throughout the Raghuvanga we. are reminded of 
the duties of kings to the subjects. $ Let us grant that his vision 
was Brahmanical ; he deliberately repeats the condemnation of 
the Ramdyana on the Qudra who threatens the security of 
established order by venturing to expose himself, head down- 
wards, hanging from a tree to fire, in order by penance to acquire 
merit. This reminds us of Fa-hien s ^ emphatic testimony of the 
degradation of the Candalas in the Gupta realm. 

•Youth and manhood are no time for deep philosophic views, 
and the Kalidasa of the Rttisaihhdra, Meghaduta, and Kumdra- 
sambhava remains within narrower limits. ' We feel, however, 
a growing sense of the greatness and glory of ^iva ; the remote 
figure of the Meghaduta is definitely brought nearer to us in the 
Kumdrasambhava, * Even Brahman and Visnu are less than he, 
and the term Lord, l9vara, is his par excellence ; moreover, 
despite his all-embracing majesty, he is intensely personal. Yet 
neither Brahman nor Visnu is forgotten ; to Brahman in the 
Kumdrasambhava itself, to Visnu in the Raghnvanga two noble 
prayers are addressed in which in the true spirit of kathenotheism 
either appears as the greatest of gods, as more than the world, as 
beyond all comprehension. The inconsistency, however, is rather 
apparent than real ; it is possible to ascertain with fair certainty 
the view Kalidasa cook of the universe, and this affords a recon- 
ciliation of his diverse views. 

• Both epics, but especially the Raghuvanga^ show that Kali- 
dasa accepted Samkhya and Yoga views of the nature of the 
universe. ^The three constituents of nature, goodness, passion, 
and dullness, in their ethical aspect afford themes for simile ; the 
Brahman sea as the source of the Sarayu is like the unmanifested 
{avyaktd) whence springs intelligence. Yoga practices are recog- 
nized ; the aged king practises concentration {dhdrand) as he sits 
on Ku9a grass ; the difficult posture known as Virasana of ascetics 
is compared to trees standing motionless ; Sita by asceticism 

' Smith, EHI. p. 314; Foucher, VAti Greco- Bouddhique du Gandhdra^xu 8. 



seeks to secure reunion in her next life with her spouse: the 
power to pass through closed doors may be won, and the Yogin 
needs not cremation, but like Raghu is buried in mother earth. 
But we cannot hold that the godhead envisaged by KalidSsa is 
the pale l9vara of the Yoga; in Brahman we are told are united 
both matter and spirit as they are known in the Samkhya, and 
this we may fairly take as indicating that to Kalidasa, as to the 
author of the Katka Upanisad, over the spirits and matter stood 
the absolute, who to Kalidasa takes specially the form of ^iva 
but who is also Brahman and Visnu, the spirit that perishes not 
beyond the darkness. With this absolute man is merged on 
death if he has attained enlightenment, for this is the sense of 
brahmabhnyam gatim ajagdma in the Raghuvanga. If enlighten- 
ment is not his but good deeds, he has heaven for his share, for 
knowledge alone burns up man’s deeds which else force him to 
life after life. We need have the less hesitation to accept this 
view in that it is essentially the standpoint of popular Vedantism 
and that it afforded to a man of thought and good sense an 
effective means of reconciling belief in the three great gods. 
What is clear is that in his advancing years Kalidasa’s mind 
turned more and more to the conception of the all-embracing 
character of the godhead and of the efficacy of Yoga practices to 
attain union with him. 

From such a philosophy it would be idle to seek any solution 
for essential conflicts in the heart of man, or to demand any 
independent criticism of man’s aims and fate. India knew 
atheists enough, but their works have all but perished, and we 
must rather be grateful that we have preserved in such perfection 
the poetic reflex of the Brahmanical ideal both in its strength and 
in its weakness. Nor, let us remember, does such an ideal shut 
out deep human feeling such as we may suspect in the longing 
of the Megfiadtita, the lament of Aja over the dead Indumati, of 
Rati for Kama slain. But it does demand resignation, and if in 
perfection of form Kalidasa’s poems proclaim him the Virgil of 
India, we may admit that he was incapable of the vision and 
imagery of the sixth book of the Aeneid. 



9 . Kdlicldsas Style and Metre. 

In Kalidasa we have unquestionably the finest master of 
Indian poetic style, superior to A^vaghosa by the perfection and 
polish of his work,^ and all but completely free from the extrava- 
gances which disfigure the later great writers of Kavya. Dandin 
ascribes to his favourite style, the Vaidarbha, qualities which we 
may fairly sum up as firmness and evenness of sound, avoiding 
harsh transitions and preferring gentle harmonies ; the use of 
words in their ordinary sense and clearness of meaning; the 
power to convey sentiment ; beauty, elevation, and the employ- 
ment of metaphorical expressions. He assures longevity to 
a poem which, in addition to conforming to the rules for a 
Mahakavya, is rich in ornaments (alamhdra), and Kalidasa is not 
sparing in his use of these means of adding grace to his work. 
But he has the fundamental merit that he prefers suggestion to 
elaboration ; his successors too often thought that they could 
only prove their capacity by showing all of what it was capable ; 
he was content to produce a definite effect, and to leave well 
alone; his was the golden mean of Virgil between rustic simpli- 
city and clumsiness and that over-refinement which is specially 
fatal.^ Thus it results that his miniature-painting in its polished 
elegance often attains relative perfection. 

The truth of his delineation is seen in the picture of the 
sorrowing bride in the Meghaduta: 

utsahge vd malinavasane sauinya niksipya vlndyt 

madgoirdhkam viracitapadain gey am udgdtnkdmd 

» The critics occasionally find fault, e.g. in the Vyaktiviveka (p. 66) Raghu^ 
vah^a xvi. 33 is censuied for the position of tOiiJyt^ but they cite him repeatedly as 
a master, first of Mahakavis ; Dhvanydloka, pp. 29, 207 ; Kdvyaprakdga^ p. 2. 
Bhamaha’s assertion that a cloud is not suitable as a messenger must refer to the 
Megha^uta and may be put beside his attack on Bb^a's Pratij^dyaugandhardyana^ 
proved by T. Ganapati Sastri; cf. Thomas, JRAS. 1925, p. 103, who (pp. 100 flf.) 
deals effectively with the attacks on the authenticity ol Bhasa s dramas. His verse 
{Subhdsitdvaliy 1353) is imitated in Ragh. viii. 66 ; GIL. ui. 159, n. i. 

* His improvements on A9vaghosa are numerous and undeuialde ; cf. ihe passages iu 
Nandargikar, Raghuvahfa (ed.’ 3), pp. 161 ff. ; Formichi, Ahagkosa, p. 330 ; cf. 
also Sound, iv. 4a with Kum. v. 45* The parallel hum. vii. 56 ff. ; Aagh. vii. 5 ff. 

with Buddh. iii. 13 ff. is conclusive and Hillebrandi^ doubts (pp. loa f.) arc hyper- 



tantrlm ardrdfk nayanasalilaih sdrayitva kathamcit 

bhuyo bhfiyah svayatn api kytam murcchanam visma- 

‘ Or perhaps, placing her lute on her lap, whose dark garment 
proclaims her grief, she will seek to sing a song wherein she has 
worked my name, but, scarce able to move the string which her 
tears have bedewed, she will forget the air which she herself hath 
made.’ Or, again : 

tvdm dlikhya pranayakupitam dhaturdgaih gilaydm 
dtmdnani te caranapatitam ydvad icchdmi kartum 
asrais tdvan muhttr upaciiair drsiir dlupyate me 

kriiras tasminn api na sahate samgamatk nau krtdntah. 

' When I have portrayed thee in love’s anger on the rock with my 
colours and seek to add myself lying at thy feet, my tears well 
up and ever blot out my sight ; cruel the fate which even thus 
will not permit our union.’ There is a brilliant picture of Uma’s 
confusion and of her joy when Qiva reveals himself: 
adya prabhrty avanaidhgi tavdsnii ddsah 
kritas tapobhir iti vddini candramaulau 
ahndya sd niyamajam klamam utsasarja 

klegah phalena hi punar navatdm vidhatte. 

‘ “ From this moment, o drooping maiden, I am thy slave, bought 
by thy penance,” so spake he whose crest is the moon, and 
straightway all the fatigue of her self-torment vanished, so true 
is it that fruitful toil is as if it had never been.’ There is perfect 
simplicity of passionate longing in Rati’s address to the dead 

krtavdn asi vipriyam na me : pratikftlam na ca te mayd 

Him akdranam eva darganam : vilapantyai rataye na diyate ? 
‘ Thou hast never displeased me ; thee I never have wronged ; 
why then, without cause, dost thou hide thyself from thy weep- 
ing Rati ? ’ The timid shyness of the new-made bride and her 
lover’s ruses are delicately drawn : 

vydhytd prativaco na samdadhe : gantum atcchad avalambt- 

senate sma gayanam pardhmnkhi : sd tathdpi rataye pind- 


‘ Addressed she could not answer ; when he touched her gown 
she sought to leave him ; with head averted she clung to her 
couch ; yet none the less did she delight the lord of the trident.’ 

atmdnam dlokya ca fobhatpianant : adarfabimbe stimitdya- 

•Haropaydne tvaritd babhuva: sirindm priydlokaphalo hi 

‘When with her long eyes fixed on her mirror she saw the 
reflection of her radiant loveliness, swift she hastened to seek 
Qiva, for the fruit of woman’s raiment is the light in the lover’s 
eyes.* Equally complete in its own effectiveness is the descrip- 
tion of the tragic shock received by Rati : 

tlvrdbhisahgaprabhavena vrtiini : mohena samsiambhaya- 

ajhdtabhartrvyasand muhurtam: krtopakdreva Ratir ba- 

‘ The bitterness of the blow cast Rati into a faint which dulled 
her senses and for the moment with true kindness robbed her of 
memory of her husband’s ruin.’ 

Aja’s tears have their excuse in nature itself: 

vilaldpa sabaspagadgadam : sahajdm apy apahdya dhlratdm 
abhitapiam ayo pi mdrdavam : bhajate kaiva kathd garlrisu t 

‘ He wailed aloud, his voice broken by sobs, forgetting the high 
courage that was his ; iron in the fire yieldeth its strength ; how 
much more feeble mortals?’ He feels that his wife has doubted 
his love ; 

dhTUVufft ustni gathah gucispfiitc .* viditah kaituvavatsalas tuva 
paralokam asamnivrttaye : yad andprcchya gatdsi mam it ah, 

‘ Surely, sweet smiling one, thou hast judged me traitor whose 
love was feigned that thou hast gone from me to the world whence 
there is no return and hast not bidden me even a word of fare- 
well.* No woman could desire a more perfect eulogy : 

grhini sacivah sakhl mitkak : priyagtsyd lalite kalavtdhau 
karundvimukhena mrtyund: haratd tvdih vada ktm na me 
hf'iam ? 

104 KALIDASA and the GUPTAS 

* Wife, counsellor, companion, dearest disciple in every loving 
art ; in taking thee tell me what of me hath not pitiless Death 
taken/ The fatal blow is depicted : 

k^anamatrasakhifk sujdtayoh : stanayos tdm avalokya vihvald 
nimimtla narottamapriyd : hrtacandrd tamaseva kaumudi. 

'For a moment she gazed on the garland as it lay on her 
rounded breasts, then closed her eyes in unconsciousness, like the 
moonlight when the darkness obscures the moon/ There is 
humour, on the contrary, in Indumati’s rejection of the Anga 
prince : 

athdhgardjdd avatdrya cakmr : ydhiti j any dm avadat 

ndsaii na kdmyo na ca veda samyag: dr as turn na sd bhin- 
iiarncir hi lokah. 

* But the princess turned away from Anga's lord her gaze, and 
bade her maiden proceed ; it was not that he had not beauty 
nor that she could not see it, but folk have different tastes/ 
This has the same graceful ease as often in the Rtusamkdra : 

vivasvatd tik^natardhgumdlind : sapahkatoydt saraso 'bhitd- 

utplntya bhekas t^^itasya bhoginah: phandiapatrasya tale 

* As the sun’s garland of rays grows ever hotter, the frog sore 
tormented leaps up from the muddy water of the lake only to 
fall into the mouth of the thirsty snake, who spreads his hood to 
shade him from the glare/ There is a pretty picture of girlish 
haste : 

dlokamdrgam sakasd vrajantyd : kayacid udve^tanavdnta- 

baddhum na sambhdvita eva idvat : karena ruddho pi ca 

‘ As she rushed to the window, her garlands fell from their place, 
and she did not even trouble to knot the abundant hair which 
she caught together in her hand/ 

The structure of each of these cameos is simple ; throughout 


it is normal to have each verse complete in itself, a single verb 
serving to support a number of adjectives and appositions, though 
relative clauses with verb expressed or implied are not rare. 
The compounds are normally restricted in length, but this is less 
closely observed in the Mandakranta metre, though even then 
clearness is aimed at and normally achieved. The order of 
words is very free, partly no doubt by reason of metrical neces- 
sity. Of the figures those of sound are employed not rarely but 
usually with skill. Beside the ordinary forms of alliteration as 
in nirmame nirmanio 'rthesu, we find the more important 
Yamaka, in which the same syllables are repeated, in the same 
or inverted order,^ but with diflferent sense. There is a certain 
liberality in the process ; thus Kalidasa is able to match bhuja- 
latdm with jadatdm, for / and 4/, like r and /, b and are 
admitted as similar, and the same principle is clearly to be 
seen in 

cakdra sd mattacakoranetrd : lajjdvatl Idjavisargain agnau. 

‘ She with the eyes of the intoxicated Cakora, in modesty [lajjd) 
made offering of fried rice {idja) in the fire.' In Canto ix of the 
Raghuvanga Kalidasa deliberately shows his skill in Yamakas ; 
there is no doubt that this offends the sound rule of Ananda- 
vardhana that to seek deliberately such a result destroys the 
function of poetry which is to suggest — or express— not merely 
to exhibit form, and we can only conjecture that in this canto, 
which also is marked out by the amazing number of metres 
employed, Kalidasa was seeking to prove that he could vie with 
any rival in these niceties. In Canto xviii also, Yamakas are 
superabundant. Throughout, however, we feel Kalidasa seeking 
for the matching of sound and sense, to which the Indian ear 
was clearly more susceptible than our own. 

Of figures of sense Kalidasa excels in Indian opinion in the 
simile, and the praise is just. The Indian love of simile appears 
freely in the Rgveda^ and is attested by the elaborate subdivisions 
of Indian poetics. The width of Kalidasa's knowledge and the 
depth of his observation of nature and life are here shown to the 
highest advantage. But his world is not ours, and doubtless at 

' Ai distinct from alliteration the repetition should be in corresponding parts of the 
verse (Jacobi, ZDMG. Ixii. 303, n. i). 


times his figures ^ seem grotesque to our taste, as when the king 
comes from his bath and plays with his harem like an elephant 
on whose shoulder still clings a shoot of the lotus sporting with 
the females of his herd. But often there can be only admiration; 
the chariot of the prince is so covered by the arrows of his foes 
that only by the point of its standard can it be discerned, as the 
mornipg wrapped in mist by the feeble rays of the sun ; the 
wound torn by the arrow is the door of death ; with joyful eyes 
the women of the city follow the prince as the nights with the 
clear stars of autumn the polar star. Characteristic is the love of 
elaboration of a comparison ; the reader is not to be contented 
with a mere hint, the comparison must be drawn out in full. 
The Pandya king is peer of the lord of mountains, for the neck- 
laces which hang over his shoulders are its foaming cascades, and 
the sandal that reddens his limbs the young sun which colours 
its peaks. Or again, the princes who hide their jealousy under 
the semblance of joy are compared to the pool in whose calm 
depths lurk deadly crocodiles. Or again, the ruined city, with 
towers broken, terraces laid down and houses destroyed, is like 
the evening when the sun sets behind the mountains and a 
mighty wind scatters the clouds. 

To us, no doubt, both similes and metaphors sometimes seem 
far-fetched ; those from grammar leave us cold, but there is wit 
in the assertion that the wearing by Rama of the royal dress 
when the ascetic's garb revealed already his fairness is equivalent 
to the vice of repetition {pimariiktd). The bowmen whose 
arrows strike one another are like disputants whose words con- 
flict. The king seeks to subdue the Persians as an ascetic his 
senses through the knowledge of truth. < Kalidasa is rich also in 
plays of fancy which present a vivid picture {uiprek^d ) ; it is 
natural to him to think vividly, to attribute to the mountains, the 
winds, the streams the cares, sorrows, joys, and thoughts of men. 
He loves also the figure corroboration {arthdntaranydsdp\ indeed, 
its careless use reveals the hand of the forger of the last cantos 
of the Kumdrasambkava. But the double entendre is rare 
indeed ; the instances of it are very few, and they lend no 

1 Cf. HUlcbrandt, Kalidasa^ pp. 112-30. For the Qakuntald^ cf. P. K. Code, 
POCP. 1919, ii. 205 ff. A very interesting comparison is aflForded by Lucan’s 
similes (Heitland in Haskins’ Lucan^ pp. Ixxxiv ff.). 


credit whatever to the suggestion that v. 14 of the Meghaduta is 
an attempt obliquely to praise Nicula and damn DignSga. Of 
the former we know nothing, and it was doubtless the later love 
for ^lesas which bade men find them in Kalidasa, where not one 
elaborate case even can be proved to exist.^ 

^Kalidasa’s metrical skill is undoubted. In the Rtusamhdraht 
used normally the Indravajra and Vahjastha types, with Vasan- 
tatilaka and Malini; one stanza only in Qardulavikridita occurs. 
The Meghaduta shows the more elaborate Mandakranta used 
without variation ; a few slight roughnesses as regards caesura 
may be adduced as proof of the relatively early date of the poem, 
but the evidence is too slight to weigh seriously in itself. In the 
Kumar asambhava we find the normal rule that the canto is 
written in a single metre with change, as the writers on poetics 
require, at the close. ♦ Thus i, iii, and vii are written in the Indra- 
vajra; ii and vi in the ^loka, iv in the Vaitallya, and v in the 
Van9astha, while viii is in the Rathoddhata, The closing changes 
are furnished by Puspitagra, Malini, and Vasantatilaka. The 
Raghuvahfa follows on the whole this principle, but exhibits 
greater variety, suggesting later date. The Indravajra type 
serves for ii, v-vii, xiii, xiv, xvi, and xviii ; the Qloka for i, iv, x, 
xii, xv, and xvii ; the Vaitallya for viii, and the Rathoddhata 
for xi and xix. Canto ix is orthodox up to v. 54, being in 
Drutavilambita, then it deliberately displays the poet’s skill in 
new metres, each with a verse or so, Aupacchandasika, Puspi- 
tagra, Praharsini, Manjubhasini, Mattamayura, Vasantatilaka, 
which is also used for ii verses in v, Vaitallya, (^^alinl, and 
Svagata. There occur also odd verses in Totaka, Mandakranta, 
Mahamalika, and iii is written in Van9astha, with a concluding 
verse in Harinl. ^^There are thus nineteen metres in all to eight 
in the earlier epic. Detailed efforts to find some sign of develop- 
ment in any of the metres in respect of caesuras &c. have failed 
to yield any results worthy of credence.* • 

In the Qloka the rules had already been established by epic 

^ Meghaduta 10 d^dbandha may have a double sense; a 8 ra 5 a\ Kumdrasam- 
bhava^ viii. 22 ; Raghuvah^a^ xi. ao. But in v. 14 Nicula is to be a poet friend, else- 
where utterly unknown. 

* Huth, Die Z^t des Kalidasa (1890), App. ; Hillebrandt, Kdliddsa, p. 157. Cf. 
SIFL VIII. ii. 40 ff. 


practice, and Kalidasa observes them carefully. Of the four 
Vipula forms he uses the last once only ; the figures for the 
other three out of 1410 half-stanzas in the epics are 46, * 7 . 

41, or 8-15 per cent., showing that the third Vipula was Kali- 
dasa’s favourite. It is interesting to note that in the form of the 
syllables preceding the first Vipula Kalidasa shows special care 
to select that form («^--) which is not allowed in the second 
Vipula as against that (^-w-) which is permitted in both. The 
Kutnarasambkava has 11 cases of the first to 3 of the second 
form, the Raghuvanga 31 to i ; this doubtless indicates 
increasing care to secure elegance, and it accords with this that 
in the Kumarasambhava alone is the fourth Vipula found.* 

» Kor the Raghuvanga they are 32, 18, 27 out of 1096 ; Jacobi's figures (IS. xvii. 
444 f.) are corrected from SIFI. /. r. The percentage in Bharavi is 9-6 ; Magha 27.15 ; 

Bilhana 8-64 ; Qiharsa 0-53 ; Kumaradasa 2*35. 

* Raghuvanga, xil. 71, should perhaps be read dvtityahemapr&karam. In 
Kumarasambhava, vii. ii on one reading position is neglected as in (^tfupalavadha, 
X. 60, both duldous (SIFI. VIII. li. 7). For the schemes of the metres see chap, xx, 

« 4 . 


bhAravi, bhatti, kumAradAsa, and mAgha 

I. Bhdravi 

O F Bharavi’s life we know nothing whatever, though he 
ranks as second in magnitude among the constellations 
of the Kavya. External evidence proves that he was older 
than A.D. 634 when he is mentioned with Kalidasa in the 
Aihole inscription, and he is cited in the Kdgikd Vriti ; on the 
other hand he manifestly is influenced by Kalidasa, while he 
strongly affected Magha.^ Bana ignores him, so that he can 
hardly have preceded him long enough for his fame to compel 
recognition. It is, therefore, wiser to place him c, A. D. 550 than 
as early as A.D. 500. 

His Kirdidrjuntya^ is based, as usual, on the epic. The 
Mahdbhdrata^ tells us how, when the Pandavas with their wife 
DraupadI have retired under their vow of twelve years’ banish- 
ment to the Dvaita forest, DraupadI, with truly feminine faith- 
lessness, urges the heroes to break their pledge. A council is 
held ; Yudhisthira pleads for the bond ; Bhima controverts his 
contentions. Vyasa counsels retirement from the Dvaita forest, 
and the brothers go to the Kamyaka wood, where Yudhisthira 
takes the prudent course of bidding Arjuna, as a preliminary to 
war, to secure from Qiva divine weapons. Arjuna obeys, prac- 
tises in the Himalaya severe penances, meets and struggles with 
a Kirata, who proves to be Qiva himself; he grants the boon 
desired, to which the other gods add further largesse. This 
theme Bharavi has chosen to expand and illustrate with all the 
resources of a refined and elaborate art. The opening shows at 
once the hand of the artist ; in the epic the discussion of the 
brothers arises merely from the dreary plight in which they are 

» Ci Jacobi, WZKM. iii. lai ff. 

* Ed. NSP. 1907; irans. C. Cappcilcr, HOS. 15, 1912; i-iii, with Citrabhanu’i 
comm., TSS. 63. 

» iii. 27-4'- 

placed ; Bharavi begins instead with the return of a spy whom 
Yudhisthira has sent to report on the deeds of Suyodhana— as he 
is always styled ; he bears the unwelcome tidings that the king 
is walking in the ways of virtue and charming the hearts of the 
people. Hence, naturally, Draupadi, anxious for the future, 
taunts Yudhisthira with his inglorious plight and urges swift 
battle (i). Bhima adds his support; Yudhisthira, the unready, 
has scruples of honour (ii), but seeks counsel from Vyasa, and the 
sage admits that war must be, but, since the foe is so strong, 
urges that Arjuna should by penance in the Himalaya win Indra's 
aid. He vanishes, but a Yaksa appears to lead Arjuna on his 
way, and they depart, cheered by the good wishes of the re- 
mainder of the party (iii). At this point the poet’s invention 
displays itself in elaboration ; just before, by omitting all mention 
of the move to the Kamyaka wood, he had shortened the narra- 
tive, improving greatly the effect ; now he takes the opportunity 
to display the poet’s command of language. In Canto iv the 
Yaksa leads Arjuna on ; and a brilliant picture is drawn of the 
autumnal scene, partly in narrative, partly in the mouth of the 
Yaksa. Then follows (v) the description of the Himalaya itself, 
the Yaksa lays stress on the mystery which guards it and on its 
close kinship with Qiva and Parvatl, and vanishes after bidding 
Arjuna do penance on Indrakila. The penance of Arjuna terrifies 
the Guhyakas, the spirits who haunt Indrakila ; they appeal to 
Indra to aid them, and he sends Gandharvas and Apsarases to 
disturb the asceticism which menaces the quiet of his mountain 

(vi) . The heavenly host speeds through the air to Indrakila and 
makes there its camp ; their elephants merit special description 

(vii) . The Apsarases now leave their palaces, just made by their 
magic power, and wander in the woods to pluck the flowers ; 
then the Ganges invites them to the bath, and the bathing scene 
is described with much charm and beauty (viii). Evening comes, 
the sun sets, the moon arises — the banal theme wins new effect 
through the poet’s skill ; the nymphs and their lovers drink and 
seek the pleasures of love ; the day dawns (ix). The Apsarases 
.now turn their minds to their task ; aided by the seasons who 
now appear six in number to second their efforts, they expend, 
but in vain, all their charms on the young ascetic (x). Seeing his 
minions thus foiled through Arjuna’s constancy, Indra appears 



himself in the guise of a sage, admires the fervour of the penance, 
but contends that to bear arms and practise asceticism are incon- 
sistent ; Arjuna admits the logic of the censure, but asserts that 
he will do all to save his family's honour. Indra is touched, 
reveals himself, and bids him win the favour of ^iva (xi). Here 
ends the poet^s invention, and we again find the epic as his source. 
Arjuna continues his penance in order that Qiva may bless him ; 
the seers in distress appeal to the great god, who expounds to 
them Arjuna's divine nature as an incorporation of Nara, a part 
of the primeval spirit ; a demon Muka in boar form plans to 
slay him ; therefore Qiva bids his host follow him to guard the 
prince (xii). The boar appears to Arjuna ; it falls pierced by his 
own and ^iva's dart ; the prince advances to recover his arrow, 
but is challenged by a Kirata who claims it in his master's name 
(xiii). Arjuna rejects the demand in a long speech; the Kirata 
returns, and Qiva, launches, but in vain, his host against Arjuna, 
who endures unscathed the shower of their arrows (xiv). The 
host is rallied from flight by Skanda and Qiva himself, who then 
begins a deadly battle of arrows with Arjuna (xv). The two 
then strive with magic weapons, the hero is beaten (xvi), but 
grasps again his bow, and with sword, mighty rocks, and the 
trunks of great trees assails the god, but all in vain (xvii). They 
box, at last they wrestle ; (piva reveals his true form, and the 
hero, humbled at last, praises the greatness of the god and begs 
him for strength and victory ; the god and the world guardians, 
who come to the scene, accept his devotion and give him the 
magic weapons that he craves. 

The introduction of (^iva's host, of its struggles under'Skanda's 
leadership with the hero, and the whole episode of the contest 
with magic weapons are the fruit of the poet's imagination. One 
difficulty is obvious ; it is made necessary to duplicate the episode 
of the force of the penance causing fear and evoking divine inter- 
vention, and the prolongation of the conflict results in some 
repetition of ideas. Duplication also results from the description 
of the amours of the nymphs with the Gandharvas and their 
attempts on the prince. The poet's skill led him, we must con- 
fess, to exhibit it too freely, and the introduction of magic 
weapons leaves us cold. In this regard Valmiki has a fatal 
influence on Sanskrit poetry ; the mythical background of the 


R§ma legend produced the unreality of his combats, which every 
epic poet felt bound to copy. Another influence seen strongly 
in the first two Cantos is that of the political principles of the 
day, which have ample opportunity of illustration in the record 
of Suyodhana's rule and in the arguments by which Yudhisthira 
seeks to justify the keeping of their faith by his brothers. 

There is no doubt of the power of Bharavi in description ; his 
style at its best has a calm dignity which is certainly attractive, 
while he excels also in the observation and record of the beauties 
of nature and of maidens. The former quality is revealed re- 
peatedly in the first Canto, the very first line of which strikes 
the true note of high policy ; then follows : 

krtapramdnasya mahim makibhuje: jitdm sapatnena nive- 

na vivyathe mano na hi priyam : pravaktum icchanti ntrsd 

‘ When he bent low in homage his mind wavered not, though he 
had to tell the king that his realm had been won by his foe, for 
men who seek one’s good care not to speak flattering words.’ In 
the same strain Suyodhana is praised : 

na tena sajyam kvacid udyatam dhanuh : krtam na vd tena 
vijihmam dnanam 

gundnurdgena girobhir uhyaie : narddhipair mdlyant ivdsya 

‘ Never has he raised his bow to shoot, never has a frown dis- 
torted his face ; loving his virtues the kings bear as a garland on 
their heads his royal orders.* The setting sun and the rising 
moon are happily portrayed : 

ahgupdnibhir atlva pipdsuh : pahkajam madhu bhrgam 

kllbatdm iva gatah kptim e^yahl: lohitam vapur uvdha 

' Ruddy glowed the sun as he hastened to rest, as though over- 
deep he had drunken with his rays, in his thirst, the sweetness of 
the lotus.* 



samvidhdtum abhisekam uddse: Manmathasya lasadanfu- 

ydtninlvanitayd tatacihnah: sotpalo rajatakumbha ivenduk, 

' For Love’s consecration the lady night raised aloft the moon with 
its shimmering sea of beams and its spots full in view, like a silver 
chalice decked with lotuses.* The advent of the cool season is 
thus greeted : 

katipayasahakdrapu^parainyas : ianutuhino 'Ipavinidrasin- 

surabhimukhakimdgamdhtagansi : samupayayau (igirah sma- 

*Then came the cool season, Love’s one friend, lovely with its 
mango blooms here and there, when frost is rare and but a few 
Sinduvaras awake from sleep, the harbinger of the end of winter 
and the coming of spring.’ The bathing scene is rich in pretti- 
nesses : 

tirohitdntdni nitdntam dkulair : apdm vigdhdd alakaih 

yayur vadhundih vadandni tulyatdm: dvirephavpiddntart- 
taih saroruhai/u 

‘ Hidden by their long hair in utter disorder through plunging in 
the water, the maidens’ faces seemed like lotuses covered with 
swarms of bees.’ 

pviye pavd yacchciti vdcci'tn unMukhl .* nibuddhcLdystih githi^ 

samadadhe ndhgukam dhitam vrthd : viveda puspesu na pdnt’^ 

‘ Yet another, face upturned and eyes fixed on her lover as he 
spoke, gathered not together her garment, though the knot 
slipped and fell, nor realized that her tender hand had missed ^e 
flowers it sought.’ Characteristically, the same idea is varied 
later in the canto : 

vihasya pdnau vidhrte dhrtdmbhaH : priyena vadhva ma- 

sakhiva kanci payasa ghmlkrtd : babhdra vltoccayabandhani 



II4 BHARAVI, BHATT^i kumAradAsa, and mAgha 
‘As hef hand, full of water, was laughingly grasped by her 
lover, 'twas her kindly girdle which the water had stiffened that 
saved from falling the garment of the loving maiden, for the knot 
that held it had slipped/ His play of fancy is constant and 
extensive ; he acquired the style of parasol-Bharavi from his 
comparison (v. 39) of the lotus dust driven by the winds to the 
goddess LaksmI mirrored in a golden parasol. Still less attrac- 
tive to our taste is a simile ^ based on the mute letter (anuhandhd) 
between stem and ending in grammar. 

Bharavi, however, is guilty of errors of taste from which Kali- 
dasa is free. Especially in Canto xv he sets himself to try tours 
de force of the most foolish kind, redolent of the excesses of the 
Alexandrian poets. Thus one verse has the first and third, 
second and fourth lines identical ; in another all four are identical ; 
one has practically only c and r, another only the letters s, 
and / ; in other stanzas each line reads backwards the same way 
as the next, or the whole stanza read backwards gives the next ; 
one stanza has three senses ; two no labial letters ; or each verse 
can be read backwards and forwards unchanged. One saihple 
must serve : 

na nonanunno nunnono nana nananand nanu 
nunno ^uunno nanunneno ndnend nunnauunnanut, 

‘ No man is he who is wounded by a low man ; no man is the 
man who wounds a low man, o ye of diverse aspect ; the wounded 
is not wounded if his master is unwounded ; not guiltless is he 
who wounds one sore wounded.’ But at least he eschews long 
compounds, and, taken all in all, is not essentially obscure. 

Bharavi sets a bad example in his fondness for showing his 
skill in grammar, and he is in many ways the beginner of manner- 
isms in the later poets. The ridiculously frequent use of the root 
tan begins with him ; ® he is fond of passive perfect forms, in- 
cluding the impersonal use ; the adverbial use of prepositional 
compounds is a favourite form of his ; many of Panini*s rules of 
rare type ^ are illustrated by him, as qds with double accusative, 

' xiii. 19; cf. xvii. 6. Cf. Mftgha, ii. 47, 95, 112; x. 15; xiv. 66; xvi. 80; 
xix. 75. 

* Walter, Indica, iii. 34 f. 

* Cappcllcr, pp. 153 flf. On the perfect cf. Renou, La valeur du parfait^ p. 87. 


dargayate in the same use, anujlvisdtkrta, stanopapldam^ the 
double negative as a positive, and na compounded as in nanivftam ; 
it occurs also with the imperative. Most interesting in his 
elaborate care in the use of the narrative tenses, which Kalidasa 
and the other poets treat indifferently. In Bharavi the imperfect 
and the aorist are not tenses of narrative use ; they occur only 
in dealing with what thespeaker has himself experienced (aparokse)^ 
and the imperfect denotes what happened in the more remote past 
[anadyatane)^ the aorist the immediate past {adyatane), exceptions 
being minimal ; the aorist hence is extremely rare, occurring only 
ten times to 27a times in Magha. The perfect is the tense of 
narrative, save in the case of the present perfects aha and veda. 
The present occurs with sma not rarely in narrative as a past ; 
the participle in tavant is used in speeches only, that in ta in 
both. Both the imperative and the aorist with md are found in 
interrogations beside their normal uses, and lahdha is used in the 
passive, the periphrastic future having always its precise sense of 
a distant event. Errors in grammar are few, but djaghne seems 

In metrical form Bharavi is as developed as he is in the use of 
the figures of speech, of which scores can be illustrated from his 
poem. Only once does he condescend to use a single difficult 
metre, the Udgata, for a whole canto (xii), a single Praharsini 
terminating it. In v he uses sixteen, in xviii also sixteen different 
forms. The Upajati of Indravajra type predominates in iii, xvi, 
and xvii ; Vah9astha in i, iv, and xiv ; Vaitaliya in ii ; Drutavi- 
lambita in xviii; Pramitaksara in vi; Praharsini in vii; Svagata 
in ix ; Puspitagra in x ; Qloka in xi and xv ; Aupacchandasika 
in xiii. Of the other metres few save Vasantatilaka ^ have much 
use ; Aparavaktra, Jaloddhatagati, Jaladharamala occur, like 
Candrika, Mattamayura, Ku^ila, and Vah9apaltrapatita, once 
only. The Rathoddhata is a good deal used in xiii ; but Qalinl, 
Malini, Prabha, and gikharinl are all rare.^ 

In the Qloka Bharavi conforms in general to the same rules as 
Kalidasa. But he never uses the fourth Vipula form, and in his 
250 half-stanzas he uses the first three Vipulas respectively fifteen, 

1 The final syllable is w in three cases in line a, in one case in line 

» Thus Bharavi has eleven or twelve principal metres to six of Kalidasa and 
sixteen of Miigha. 

eight, and two times; Kalidasa, on the contrary, likes best the 
third Vipula. 

2. Bhatti 

Bhatti, the author of the Rdvanavadha} more usually simply 
styled Bhattikdvya, tells us that he wrote in Valabhl under 
(Jridharasena. But four kings of this name are known, the last 
of whom died in A.D. 641, so that we remain with nothing more 
secure than that as a terminus ad quern. The suggestion * that 
he is to be identified with Vatsabhatti of the Mandasor inscription 
lacks all plausibility, if only for the reason that Vatsabhatti 
commits errors in grammar. The name Bhatti is Prakritized 
from Bhartr, and it is not surprising that in tradition he has been 
either identified with Bhartrhari or made a son or half-brother of 
that famed poet. There is, however, nothing but the name to 
support the suggestion. We know, however, that he was imitated 
by Magha, and it is a perfectly legitimate suggestion that his 
work gave Magha the impetus to show his skill in grammar to 
the extent that he does. More important still is the plain 'fact 
that he was known to Bhamaha. In ending his poem he boasts 
that it needs a comment ; 

vydkhydgamyam idam kdvyam utsavah sudhiydm alam 
hatd durmedkasag cdsmin vidvatpriyatayd mayd, 

‘ This poem can be understood only by a comment ; it suffices 
that it is a feast for the clever and that the stupid come to grief 
in it as a result of my love of learning.* Bhamaha rather clumsily 
repeats in almost identical terms this verse. The list of Alam- 
karas given by Bhatti is in a certain measure original, when com- 
pared with those of Da^idin and Bhamaha ; its source is still 

*Bhatti*s poem, a lamp in the hands of those whose eye is 
grammar, but a mirror in the hands of the blind for others, is 
esssentially intended to serve the double plan of describing 
Rama*s history and of illustrating the rules of grammar. In the 
latter aspect its twenty-two cantos fall into four sections ; the first 

' Ed. with Ja)ainaDgala’s comm., Bombay, 1887; with Mallinatha, BSS. 1898; 
Mv ed. and trans. V. G. Pradhan, Poona, 1897. Cf. Hultzsch, £ 1 . i. 93; Keith, 
JRAS. 1909, p. 435. 

* B. C. Mazumdar, JRAS. 1904, pp. 395-7; 1909, p. 759. 


four cantos illustrate miscellaneous rules ; v~ix the leading rules, 
x-xiii ^ are given to illustration of the ornaments of poetry, the 
names of the figures unfortunately being supplied merely in the 
commentary or the manuscripts, and the rest of the poem illus- 
trates the use of the moods and tenses. The combination of 
pleasure and profit is by no means ill devised, and Indian opinion 
gives Bhatti without hesitation rank as a Mahakavi. It is dubious 
if any sound taste can justify this position ; what is true is that, 
considering the appalling nature of the obstacle set and the rather 
hackneyed theme adopted, Bhatti contrives to produce some fairly 
interesting and, at its best, both lively and effective verse. His 
aim in some degree helps his style, as it prevents the adoption of 
long compounds or too recondite allusions or ideas. 

'His style may best be judged by a fragment of the scene where 
Havana in his need turns to Kumbhakarna for aid, and airs his 
aorists : 

ndjndsls tvam sukhl Rdmo yad akdrslt sa rdksasdn 
udatdrld udanvantam purain nah parito 'rudhat 
vydjyoti^ta rane gastrair anaisid rdksasdn ksayatn. 
na prdvocam ahant kiihcit priyam ydvad ajlvisam 
bandhus tvam arcitah snehdn md dviso na vadhir mama, 
vtryam md nd dadavgas tvam md na tvdsthdh ksatdm puvam. 
tavddrdksma vayain vtryam tvam ajaisih purd surdn. 

‘ Hast thou not known in thy happiness what Rama hath done to 
the Raksasas? He hath crossed the ocean, and completely hemmed 
in our city. He hath warred brilliantly and his weapons have 
brought death to the Raksasas. Never in all my life have 
I spoken one word of flattery ; thou hast been honoured by me 
from love of kin ; do not fail to slay my foes. Fail not to show 
thy might, fail not to guard our smitten town ; thy might have 
we beheld, thou didst aforetime conquer the gods.’ The flow of 
the narrative is, it will be seen, simple and limpid, but it lacks 
fire and colour, and the task of illustrating the figures of speech 
proves extremely wearisome to all but the commentators, whose 
joy the poet was. Some, no doubt, of the passages are happy 
enough ; in one we find a proverb known from the Vikramorvagi : 

* X is on figures ; li on the quality of sweetness ; xii on Bh5vika, vivid description ; 
xiii gives verses which can be read as Sanskrit or Prakrit. 

* ii. 16 (ed. Pandit). 

ii8 bhAravi, bhatti, kumAradAsa, and mAgha 

Rdmo *pi ddrdharanena tapto: vayani haiair bandhubhir dt- 

taptena taptasya yathdyaso nah : sandhik parendstu vimunca 

' Rama is aflame through Sita’s rape, we through the death of 
kinsfolk dear as ourselves ; let us make compact with our foe as 
flaming iron with flaming iron ; let Sita go free.' Another ex- 
ample ^ describes Ravana's advent : 

jalada iva taditvdn prdjyaratnaprabhdbhift : pratikakubham 
udasyan nisvanam dhlramandram 

gikharam iva Sumeror dsanam haimam uccair : vividhama- 
nivicitram pronnatah so ^dhyatisthat, 

‘ Like a lightning cloud through the rays sparkling from his 
jewels, and emitting like it on all sides a deep dull resonance, the 
lofty prince sat him on a high golden throne, radiant with many 
a gem, as the cloud clings to a pinnacle of mount Sumeru.' The 
use of vigdla^ broad, in the next example illustrates the straits 
into which a poet may be driven, even if he is a grammarian : * 

kva strivi^ahydh karajdh kva vak^o: daiiyasya gailendra- 

sampagyataitad dyusaddm stinitam: bibheda tais tan nara^ 

‘ What can finger-nails meet for maidens' breasts avail against 
the bosom of the demon, that is broad as a rock of the lord of 
mountains ? Nay, consider this cunning scheme of the immortals; 
with these in his shape as man and lion (Visnu) clove this bosom.' 

The chief metre used by Bhatti is the Qloka, which is used in 
Cantos iv-ix and xiv-xxii. Upajati of the Indravajra type prevails 
in i-ii, xi and xii. The Giti form of Arya prevails in xiii, and x is 
largely in Puspitagi a ; no other metre has any currency of im- 
portance. Only Praharsini. Malinl, Aupacchandasika, Vanfastha, 
and Vaitaliya occur six times or more ; A^valalita, Nandana, 
PrthvI, Rucira, and Narkutaka occur only once each ; others used 
are Tanumadhya, Totaka, Drutavilambita, Pramitaksara, Praha- 
ranakalika, Mandakranta, ^ardulavikrl^ita, and Sragdhara. The 

' xi. 47; imitated by M2gha, i. 19. 

* 3 tii‘ 59 ; Magha, i. 47 (below, § 4}. 


absence of the longer metres in frequent use explains, of course, 
the comparative ease of the style, for the larger stanzas encourage 
development both of thought and expression. 

3 . Kumdrad&sa 

Fate was long unkind to the Janakiharana ‘ of Kumaradasa, 
since it left the poem preserved only in a Sinhalese word-for- 
word translation, though, since first published from this source, it 
has come to light in southern India, where Sanskrit literature has 
often found preservation denied in the north. Ceylonese tradition 
of no early date or value asserts the identity of the author with 
a king of Ceylon (a.d. 517-26) who is connected, as we have 
seen, in tradition with the death of Kalidasa. What is certain is 
that Kumaradasa was a zealous admirer of Kalidasa and very 
freely imitates him in manner as well as in general treatment of 
the subject, as comparison of Canto xii of the Raghuvah^a with 
the relevant portions of the Janakiharana establishes beyond 
cavil. On the other hand, it is really beyond question that he 
knew the Kagikd Vrtti {c. A.D. 650), while on the other hand he 
must have been known to Vamana {c. a.d. 800) who censures the 
use of khalu as first word, found in Kumaradasa, and cites a stanza 
which in content and form proclaims itself as unquestionably a cita- 
tion from the lost part of the Janakiharana. Finally, he wm 
probably earlier than Magha, who seems to echo a verse of hi8. 
Raja9ekhara, the poet {c. a.d. 900), asserts his fame:* 

Jdnaklharanam kartum Raghuvahge sthite salt 
kavih Kumaradasa^ ca Rdvanag ca yadi k^amah. 

‘ No poet save Kumaradasa could dare to sing the rape of Sita 
when the Raghuvanga was current, even as none but Ravaiia 
could perform the deed, when Raghu’s line remained on 

earth.’ , . . 

The Janakiharana suffers, of course, from the trite theme; 

Sanskrit poetry affords us a very vivid explanation of the com- 

> Ed. Ceylon, 1891; i-x, Bombay, 1907! y f ,*8 

WZKM. vii. 326 «.i Thomas, JR AS. 1901. PP- > 53 ^-; * Vw jL- • a . 

• In the /Cavyamimdhsd he mentions his blindness, as also that of Medhavjra ra 

(p. la). 

120 BHARAVI, BHATTI» kumAradAsa, and magha 
plaint of a great poet : cui non dictus Hylas puer et Latonta 
DeloSy for we actually have so many poems on the same theme 
preserved for us. Still, it is fair to say that Kumaradasa does 
very well indeed in handling his story ; his invention is negligible, ' 
but he uses effectively the innumerable opportunities for descrip- 
tion which the theme offers. Thus we have poetic pictures of 
Da^aratha and his wives as well as of Ayodhya (i) ; in ii Brhas- 
pati, in appealing to Visnu for aid, sketches the exploits of 
Ravana; in iii he revels in his themes; the king and his wives 
disport in the garden, then, as in Bharavi, we have the king's 
own description of the scene ; the poet then describes the sports 
in the water, the king the sunset, then night and morning are 
sketched. Cantos iv and v carry on the narrative, the one from 
the birth of Da 9 aratha's sons to the slaying of the Raksasi who 
plagues the hermitage, the other to the close of the defeat of the 
Raksasa host. In vi the scene shifts to Mithila where Vifvamitra 
and Janaka exchange greetings. In vii Sita and Rama meet ; he 
describes her beauty, the poet their love and marriage. Then 
follows the picture of the joys of their union ending with a fine 
description of sunset and night (viii). The nekt canto brings us 
to Ayodhya, and in x the poet shows his command of the maxims 
of politics by giving us a lecture from Da 5 aratha, who proposes 
to crown Rama, on the duties of the sovereign. Events are 
crowded together, and Sita is stolen before the canto closes. 
With equal haste are related the reception of the news by Rama, 
his alliance with Hanumant who fights Vali ; the poet then turns 
to the more graceful theme of the rainy season, which he first 
himself and then through Rama describes with considerable 
beauty. Canto xii matches the description of spring (iii) with a 
picture of autumn ; then policy once more has its turn, for 
Sugriva tenders ill counsel and Laksmana rebukes him. Rama 
is dejected, and to cheer him Sugriva describes the mountain, 
while in xiv we have first a picture of the monkeys as they build 
the causeway, then Rama’s impression of the scene, after which 
the poet resumes the description and presents a lively impression 
of the crossing of the host. Canto xv gives us the mission of 
Angada as envoy to Ravana ; Canto xvi the revels of the Rak- 
sasas ; xvii-xx Rama’s triumph. 

Kalidasa influenced Kumaradasa in style as well as subject; 


he adopts the Vaidarbha form/ and he develops in a marked 
degree the love of alliteration, though he *never carries it to the 
point of affectation, as in the efforts of such poets as Magha to 
produce effects by the constant repetition of a single letter. Nor 
is he fond of the Yamaka form to any undue degree : a good ex- 
ample is: 

atanundtanund ghanadarubhih : smarahitam rahitam pra- 

rucirabhdcirabhdsitavartmand ; prakhacitd khacitd na na 

‘ Strong love, eager to burn the lover deserted, kindled with 
cloud-logs the sky refulgent and irradiated with the lightning/ 
Prettiness is, perhaps, the chief characteristic of Kumaradasa ; 
he abounds in dainty conceits expressed with a felicity of diction 
and a charm of sound and metre which no language but Sanskrit 
can produce. Thus we have a pretty picture of the naughty Rama 
as a child : 

11a sa Rama iha kva ydta ity : anuyukto vanitdbhir agratah 

nijahasiaputdvrtdnano : vidadhe Htkaniltnam arbhakah, 

‘ “ Rama is not here ; where has he gone ? the women called 
as they searched for him, but the child, covering his face with his 
clasped hands, played hide-and-seek with them.* Though flagrant 
imitations of Kalidasa, these stanzas are not unworthy of that 
poet : 

pu^paratnavibhavair yathepsitam: sd vibhusayati rdjanan- 

darpanam tu na cakdhksa yositdm : svdmisammadaphalam 
hi mandanam* 

‘ With richness of jewels and flowers she adorned her.self before 
the prince as was his will ; but she sought not a mirror, for 
woman’s tiring hath its guerdon in her lord’s delight.’ 

* Nandargikar {Kumaradasa, p. xxiv) abserts that he nscs the Gaudl, but this 
exaggerates, though he may have known Magha. The reverse is probable; cf. Jan, 
iii, 34 f. with Magha, v. 29; below, § 4. Walter {Indica, iii. 34,36) claims that 
Bharavi borrows the use of tan and perfect impersonal passives from him, but this is 
doubtless the reverse of the truth. 

123 bhAravi, BHATTI* kumAradAsa, and mAgha 

kaitavena kalake^u suptayd: sa k^ipan vasanam attasadh- 

cora ity uditahasavibhramam : sapragalbham avakkandito 

‘ In their dalliance she feigned to fall asleep ; then as he touched 
her robe in diffidence, ** Thief! she exclaimed in laughing con- 
fusion, and boldly kissed him on the lips.* Another verse, de- 
scribing love-weariness, proves use of Canto viii of the Kumdra- 
sambhava : ^ 

tasya hastam abald vyapohitum: mekhaldgunasamlpasanginam 
mandagaktir aratim nyavedayal: lolaneiragalitena vdrind, 

* Though in her weariness she had not strength to push away the 
hand that sought to loosen her girdle, still she showed her in- 
difference by the tears that fell from her glancing eyes.* A famous 
crux in the creation of woman s beauty is posed : 

pagyan hato manmathabdnapdtaih : gakto vidhdtum na mimila 

drU vidhdtrd hi krtau katham tdv : ity dsa tasydth sumater 

* If he looked, then love*s darts must have pierced his heart ; if 
he closed his eyes, he could not have seen to create ; how then 
did the creator fashion the beauty of her limbs ? Thus even the 
wisest was at fault.* Love and nature are inseparably blended : 

prdleyakdlapriyaviprayoga- : gldneva rdtrih ksayam dsasdda 
jagdma mandam divaso vasanta- : krurdtapagrdfita iva kra- 

‘ Night perished, as a maiden fadeth through severance from her 
lover in winter’s cold, and in her place slow came the day, as 
though wearied by the fierce spring heat.* 

In another stanza we may have a reminiscence of Bharavi : ^ 

vdsantikasydhgucayena bkdnor: hemantam dlokya hatapra- 

sarorukdm uddhrtakantakena : prltyeva ramyam jahase 

^ viii. 1 4 is copied in KumSradlsa, viii. 8 and 24. 

* X. 36 compared with Janakiharana^ iii, 9 ; cf. ix. 21 with i. 4.. 


‘ Seeing that winter’s prowess had been quelled by the army of 
the rays of the spring sun, sweetly laughed the forest in its joy 
that the tormenter of the lotuses had been banished/ 

Though not a pedant, Kumaradasa was a keen student of 
grammar, and there is no doubt that he must rank as an authority 
of some weight in judging the correctness of disputed forms. He 
himself sneers in a paronomasia at bad poets who spoil their com- 
positions by the use of such particles ^ as tu, hi, na, by incorrect 
employment of roots, and by hiding their meaning through wrong 
words, and doubtless he had authority for such formations as 
halacarnta, furrow, where carma is clearly from car, go, and 
maruta, a by-form of marut. He borrows from the Kdgikd the 
rare forms vitust-, to comb one’s top-knot, marmavidh, piercing 
the vitals, satydp-, declare truth, and such aorists as acakamata ; 
other rare terms from the grammarians are anyataredyus, one day, 
dyahgulikatd, violence, iksugdkata, field of sugar cane, jampatl, 
husband and wife, nlgdra, cowtnng, pagyatohara, robber in broad 
daylight, pravara, covering, bhidelima, fit to be broken, 
dhaya, fist-sucking baby, gdyikd, sloth, and saukkardtrika, asking 
if one has slept well. Of constructions he has very freely ad- 
verbial prepositional compounds, the impersonal use of the perfect 
passive, and the weird passive munind josam abhuyata, ‘ the sage 
rejoiced The accusative with sarvatas and ubhayaias is gramma- 
tical ; kdlasya kasyacit has a similar origin, but satndh sahasrdni 
seems careless and dosd as instrumental of dosan is unparal- 
leled ; the use of khalu and iva at the beginning of lines is 
quite wrong, and censured by Vamana as regards khalu,^ From 
Valmiki he has tanucchada, feather, from Kalidasa avarna, shame, 
and ajarya, friendship. His love of periphrasis is remarkable : 
he styles himself even Kumaraparicaraka. 

Kumaradasa’s use of metre is skilled, but he follows in the 
main the manner of Kalidasa without seeking the elaboration of 
the use of many shifting metres as in Bharavi. The (^^loka® is 

‘ Already iii Vdsavadattd (p. 134) ; sec Jan, i. 89 ; viii. 29. 

* xiii. 39. In Migha, ii. 70 the use is correct, as 'khalu there equals alam, 
Nandargikar (pp. xii f.) gives some dubious words, klamathu, dsa as perfect, tapasyad- 
bhavanam, jayamdnam as middle, dimasu as plural. 

• In 424 half-stanzas in ii, vi, and x there are only xo Vipulis, 8 first, i second 

(irregular w — beginning), i third ; 4 fourth Vipnlas in Nandargikar’s cd. must be 

false readings. Before the first Vipula the first foot is 6 times ^ orSis-» — — 

as against 2 kt — w a phenomenon like the facts in Kalidasa. 

134 bhAravi, bhatti, kumaradAsa, and mAgha 

dominant in Cantos ii, vi, and x ; Drutavilambita in xi ; Prami- 
taksara in xiii ; Upajati of Indravajra type in i, iii, and vii ; 
Vahfastha in v, ix, xii, and iii. 64-76 ; Vaitallya in iv ; and 
Rathoddhata in viii. The minor metres are ^ardulavikrldita, 
^ikharinl, Sragdhara, Puspitagra (xvi), Praharsim, Vasantatilaka, 
Avitatha, Mandakranta, and Malinl. 

4. Mdgha 

All that Magha tells us of himself is the fact that his father was 
Dattaka Sarva^raya, and his grandfather, Suprabhadeva, was the 
minister of a king whose name is variously read by the manuscripts 
as Varmalakhya, Varmalata, &c. Now an inscription^ exists of 
a certain king Varmalata of A.D. 635, and it is plausible to hold 
that thus we can date Magha somewhere in the later part of the 
seventh century. This accords satisfactorily with the fact that he 
is clearly later than Bharavi, who in a sense was his model, than 
Bhatfi, whose mumuhur muhuh he trumps with his him u muhur 
mumuhur gatabhartrkdh^ ‘ ever and again they fainted, their 
spouses gone*, and probably than Kumaradasa. Nor is there 
really any doubt that Magha knew the Kdgikd Vrtti. What is 
more important is that in ii. 112 the only natural interpretation 
of the verse is that we have a reference to the Nyasakara, a com- 
mentator on the Kdgikd^ Jinendrabuddhi, whose date must be 
c, A.D. 7C0. It is much wiser to accept this date, and to place 
Magha about that time than to endeavour to explain the passage 
away, and there is no reason whatever to think the date too late. 
He certainly knew the Ndgdnanda of Harsa, and the effort to 
prove that he was used by Subandhu, though very ingenious, is 
unconvincing. It is simplest to recognize that the similarities be- 
tween the two writers, if not due to their working in the same 
field with similar models, is due to Magha’s knowledge of the 
romance of Vdsavadattd} 

Magha’s theme is borrowed like that of Bharavi from the 
Mahdbhdraia^ but, while Bharavi magnifies Qiva, Magha’s 

* Kielhorn, ON. 1906, pp. ; JRAS. 1908, p. 499. Cf. Jacobi, WZKM. iv. 
336 flf.; Bhandarkar, El. ix. 187 flf.; Holtzsch, ZDMG. Ixxii. 147; Walter, /ifi/iVa, 
iii. 3 a (MSgha, xx. , /dnakiharana^ i. 4). 

* The text is ed. NSP. 1933. Trans, np to xi. 35 by C. Schatz, Bielefeld, 1843 » 
extracts Cappcllcr, Bdlamagha (1915), and as a whole by Hultzsch, Asia Major, ii. 

* ii- 35-45- 

MAGHA 12$ 

favourite god is Visnu ; the contrast is doubtless deliberate, just 
as in Cantos iv and xix he sets himself out to vie with Cantos iv 
and XV of the Kirdtarjunlya as studies in variety of metre and 
curiosities of form respectively. The epic tale is simple ; Kfsna 
encourages Yudhisthira to perform his royal consecration. The 
rite proceeds, and Bhisma’s counsel results in the award to Krsna 
of the present of honour. ^i 9 upala, king of Cedi, is wroth and 
leaves the hall ; Yudhisthira would follow him and appease him, 
but Bhisma extols Krsna and restrains him. ^igiipala stirs up 
revolt and seeks to destroy the sacrifice. Yudhisthira seeks 
Bhisma’s counsel as usual ; he is advised to trust Krsna and 
defy the king. The latter insults Bhisma who retorts by a de- 
nunciation of him, and explains that Krsna has been under a 
promise to the king’s mother to endure a hundred deeds of evil 
of her son. ^i 9 upala then transfers his vituperation to Krsna, 
who replies, evoking a fresh onslaught of words, including a re- 
proach for Krsna’s theft of his affianced bride. Krsna replies that 
he has now fulfilled his pledge, and with his discus severs the 
head of his foe. Magha shows decided originality in touching up 
this theme ; in Canto i we have a new motif \ the sage Narada 
appears in the house of Vasudeva where Krsna lives, and in the 
name of Indra bids the hero dispose of the Cedi king whose 
hostility menaces men and gods. This affords Magha the oppor- 
tunity of displaying his skill in politics ; Krsna takes counsel with 
Balarama and Uddhava; the former advises immediate war, the 
latter acceptance of the invitation to Yudhisthira's consecration. 
Then, imitating Bharavi in Cantos iv-xi, he leaves his original 
entirely and proceeds to exhibit his skill in a longer series of de- 
scriptions. Krsna leaves Dvaraka for Indraprastha, not without 
a fine picture of his capital (iii). Mount Raivataka is reached, 
and Daruka, his charioteer, expatiates to Krsna on its loveliness 
(iv). The army encamps, enabling Magha to air his knowledge 
of campaigns as they should be conducted in poetry (v) ; needless 
to say the women are not forgotten : the queens accompany the 
liost in litters, their ladies ride on horses or the humble ass, the 
hetairai swarm and make their toilets for their masters ; soldiers, 
elephants, and women alike must enjoy the bath. Krsna himself 
must have pleasure ; so the six seasons as fair maidens appear to 
give one more opportunity of picturing love (vi). No wonder that 

the Yadavas imitate him ; with fair ladies they wander in the 
woods (vii), and share the bath (viii). The sun, charmed by the 
appearance of these heroes, desires to imitate them and bathe in 
the waters of the western ocean ; thus we have a very elaborate 
and often happy picture of the sunset and the rising of the moon, 
which waken again love in the hearts of the women, who send 
their eyes and their invitations to their lovers (ix). They are 
only too eager to accept them, and after drinking together they 
indulge in the joys of love (x). Day dawns (xi), the army 
awakens to its duties, and the Yamuna is crossed (xii), Krsna 
enters Indraprastha and is welcomed by Yudhisthira ; the poet 
remembers to vie with A 9 vaghosa and Kalidasa in describing the 
feelings of the women who crowd to see him enter. We now re- 
turn to the narrative of the epic, but in more polished form. The 
ceremony is performed, Krsna receives the gift of honour (xiv). 
.Qi9upala protests, Bhisma challenges him, he leaves the hall and 
prepares his army for battle (xv). A tour de force follows; 
Qi9upala’s envoy brings a message of set ambiguity, either a de- 
fiance or a submission ; Satyaki answers it, and the envoy replies 
haughtily (xvi). The two armies move forward to battle (xvii) ; 
their contest is described at length, not without ability, though, 
like nearly every Sanskrit writer, he gives the impression of 
painting his picture from books, not life and death. In the end 
the two rivals meet, fight with their arrows, then with super- 
natural weapons, until Krsna slays his foe, whose power passes 
over to the victor. 

The changes made in the epic narrative are not inconsiderable. 
One great improvement is the shortening of the rival speeches, 
though even so they remain long. The picture of the sacrifice 
replaces the single line given to it in the epic, and the preliminaries 
of the contest are carried on not by the the rivals but by envoys. 
More important is the imitation of Bharavi’s procedure in making 
a struggle between rival armies precede the duel. 

Admitting that these stories taken over from the epic gave little 
scope for the highest qualities of poetry, and that, as in Bharavi, 
plot and characterization are of no great account, Magha un- 
questionably has no mean poetical merits, though we need not 
accept the eulogies of later critics who claimed that he united 
the merits of his greatest rivals. If he lacks the conciseness, the 

MAGHA la? 

calm serenity and dignity of Bharavi at his best, he possesses 
much luxuriance of expression and imagination, and in the many 
love passages of his epic sweetness and prettinesses abound. He 
admits directly his indebtedness to the Kamasutra and exhibits 
intimate knowledge of its details in a manner which western taste 
finds tedious, while Indian opinion — homo sum, humani nil a me 
alienum puto — accepts it with admiration. The worst of his sins 
is his deplorable exhibition in xix of his power of twisting language. 
He actually compares the array of the army to the appearance of 
a Mahakavya when verses are put in the form of the figures 
Sarvatobhadra, Cakra, Gomutrika, &c., and such figures he 
illustrates in his poem. No doubt we hear in the Alexandrian 
age, as in later Roman poetry,^ of such things as Sotadean verses 
to be read backwards, of Simmias making poems, technopaigma, 
in the form of an axe, or a nightingale’s egg, of Dosiadas’s similar 
feat with an altar, and so on. It may be that these tricks arose 
from the practice of writing inscriptions on swords or leaves, but 
in any case Magha shows himself devoid of taste ; so also in the 
construction of such a stanza as xix. 3 where the first line has no 
consonant but j, the second only t, the third bh, and the last r with 
a final Visarga. More clever is the speech of the envoy in xv 
which begins : 

abhidhaya tada tad apriyam : gifupalo 'nufayam param gatah 
bhavato 'bhimanah samlhate : sarusah kartum upetya mdnanam. 

‘ (^i9upaia, having merited your displeasure, in deep regret (in 
high anger) seeks eagerly (fearlessly) to come before you and pay 
due homage (slay you).’ These double entendres are beloved in 
India, and Bharavi has a fair number, but it is impossible, vvhile 
admitting their cleverness, to cultivate a real taste for such tricks. 
Moreover they have a fatal effect on language ; if a double sense 
is to be expressed, it is impossible for the best of poets to avoid 
straining meanings, constructions, and word order. The effort 
leads to constant ransacking of the poetical lexicons extant and 
turns the pursuit of poetry into an intellectual exercise of no high 
value to the utter ruin of emotion and thought. 

Happily there is much in Magha to make up for his demerits. 

1 Cf. Martial, ii. 86. 9 f. : turpe cst difficilcs habere nugas 
ct stultns labor est ineptiarum. 

128 BHARAVI, BHATTIi kumAradAsa, and mAgha 
He can imitate the good sense and simplicity of BhSravi's moral 
sentiments : 

ndlantbaie daisfikaidm na nifldati pauruse 
(abddrthau satkavir iva dvayam vidvan apeksate. 

‘ He relies not on fate, he depends not on human power alone ; 
as a good poet has regard to sound and sense alike, so he cultivates 
both.' Or again : 

sanipadd susthirammanyo bhavati svalpaydpi yah 
krtakrtyo vidhir manye na vardhayati tasya tdm, 

‘ If a man think himself established securely by a slight success, 
then, I ween, Fate, having accomplished all he seeks, affords him 
no further blessing.* In more elaborate style, with a distinct aim 
at suiting sense and sound, he vies with Bhatti ^ and echoes per- 
haps a phrase of Kuhiaradasa: * 

satdchatdbhinnaghanena bibhratd : nrsihha saihhlm atanum 
tanuni tvayd 

sa mugdhakdntastanasahgabhahgurair : uroviddratn prati- 
caskare nakhaih, 

^ O man-lion, when thou didst assume that mighty lion form and 
cleft with thy tawny mane the clouds, thou didst tear him to 
pieces, rending asunder his breast with those nails which bend so 
gently on a loving maiden's bosom.' There is a martial tpne in : 

dydntindm aviratarayaih rdjakdnikinindm 

ittham sahiyaih satnam alaghubhih gripater urmimadbhih 
dsld oghair ntnhur iva mahad vdridher dpagdndm 

doldyuddham krtagnrutaradhvdnam auddhatyabhajdm. 

‘ As the hosts of the king with unbroken flow, with unceasing 
clamour in their proud onslaught, advanced against the vast 
armies of Krsna, there arose a battle swaying to and fro as when 
the waters of the streams mingle with the foaming waves of ocean.’ 
More commonplace but neatly phrased is : 

sajaldmbudkardravdnukdri : dhvanir dpuritadihmukho ra- 

pragiinikrtakekam urdhvakanthaih : gitikanthair upakar- 

* xii. 59; Magha, i. 47, 

* xi. 45. 

MAGHA 129 

‘ The roar of the chariot, matching the thunder of the rain-cloud 
and filling the air, was eagerly echoed by the peacocks, who 
stretched out their necks and redoubled their loud calls.’ There 
is real strength in this vignette of the battle : 

iurydrdvair dhitottdlatdlair : gdyantlbhih kdhdlam kdhaldbhik 
nrtte caksiikgunyahastaprayogam : kdye kujan kambtir tucair 

* Over a corpse that danced blindly moving its hands midst the 
loud, roll of the drums and the trumpet’s clangour, the conch rang 
shrill as it laughed aloud.’ 

Extremely characteristic is the plan of blending the emotion of 
'ove with war ; we have two strange pictures of a stricken field, 
ivholly Indian in spirit : 

kafcin murchdm etya gddhaprahdrah : siktah gitaih gtkarair 

ucchagvdsa prasthitd tarn jighrksur : vyarthdkutd ndkandrl 

‘ One, sore smitten, fainted ; then drenched with cool water from 
his elephant's trunk breathed again, and the heavenly nymph, 
who had started to seize him, her purpose foiled, fell back 

iyaktapranafk sathyuge hastinisthd: vlksya prcmnd tat- 
ksanad udgatdsuh 

prdpydkhandam devabhuyam satltvad : dgiglcsa svaiva kaih- 
cit puramdhrl, 

‘ One lady who seated on an elephant had seen her beloved slain 
in the battle and on the spot died from grief, winning by her faith 
complete divinity, embraced once more in heaven her husband.* 
Magha, however, is capable of very effective strength and 
simplicity, especially in the speeches of his heroes, as in Qifu- 
pala’s dignified protest against the honour paid by Yudhisthira 
to Krsna: 

yad apupujas tvam iha Pdrtha: Murajitam apfijitam satdm 
prema vilasati mahad tad aho: dayitai'n janah khaki guniti 

91*9 K 

130 bhAravi, bhatti, kumaradAsa, and mAgha 

anrtdm giram na gadasiti: jagati patahair vighu^yase 
nindyatn atha ca Harim arcayatas: tava karntanaiva vikasaty 

* That thou hast honoured, o king, the slayer of Mura, unhonoured 
by the good, doth prove thy partiality ; one, forsooth, deemeth 
virtuous him whom he loveth. “ Thou sayst no word of false- 
hood so art thou proclaimed with beat of drum throughout the 
world ; yet by having honour paid to the worthless Hari, thou 
dost blazon abroad thy falsity.* We prefer this eloquence to the 
ingenuity which won him the sobriquet of bell-Magha, because of 
his cleverness ^ in comparing a mountain, on one side of which the 
sun set, while on the other the moon rose, to an elephant from 
whose back two bells hung, one on either side. His use of figures 
is free and often, as may be seen above, happy ; his alliterations 
usually have point and effect. 

Magha is an adept in language and affords abundant exemplifi- 
cation of grammatical rules,^ very possibly under Bhatti*s influence. 
His periphrastic perfects passive such as bibhardmbabhuve are fre- 
quent ; rare uses are madhyesamudram and pdrejalam ; vairdyi- 
tdras is from the denominative vairdyate\ aghatate^ nisedivdn^ 
and nyadhdyisdtdm are recondite forms ; purely borrowed from 
Panini are the unique use in i. 51 of the imperative to express 
repeated action, and of the future in lieu of the imperfect after 
a verb of remembering. 

As regards metre Magha's chief feat is his accomplishment in 
Canto iv when he manages to use twenty-two as opposed to the 
mere sixteen of Bharavi’s corresponding tour de force. The Qloka 
is the most common, being the basis of Cantos ii and xix ; Upa- 
jati of Van9astha type prevails in i and xii ; the Indravajra type ^ 
in iii ; the Udgata in xv ; the Aupacchandasika in xx ; the 
Drutavilambita in vi ; the Puspitagra in vii ; the Pramitaksara in 
ix; the Praharsini in viii ; the Manjubhasini in xiii ; the Malini 
in xi ; the Rathoddhata in xiv, and the Rucira, Vasantatilaka,® 

' iv. 20 ; Peterson, OC. VI, ill. ii. 339. 

* Cappeller, Bdlaridgha^ pp. 187 f. 

® In these metres occasionally a and c end in a licence as a rule permissible only 
in the even lines ; cf. Vamana, v, i. 2 f. ; Sdhiiyadarpana 575. He uses a short final 
thrice in the first, once in the second Vipula; Bharavi never permits this, and 
Kftlidasa only once, doubtfully, has w in the first Vipula. 

MAGHA 131 

Vaitaliya, and QalinI m xvii, v, xvi, and xviii respectively, an 
enumeration which shows how proud was Magha of his skill in 
varying the metre of the cantos. The Svagata in x was doubt- 
less borrowed from Bharavi, and Bilhana in his turn freely uses 
this rare form. The Glti form of Arya occurs twice, while there 
is but one stanza each of the Utsara, Kalahahsa, Citralekha, 
Jaladharamala, Jaloddhatagati,Totaka, Dodhaka, Dhrta9rI,PrthvI, 
Prabha, Pramada, Bhramaravilasita, Manjarl, Mahamalika, Vah^a- 
pattrapatita, Vai^vadevI, Qikharinl, Sragdhara, SragvinI, and 
Harinl. The Mattamayura, Mandakranta, and Qardulavikrldita 
have tvyo, three, and four stanzas apiece. 

In his use of the Qloka Magha has out of 464 half-stanzas 125 
cases of Vipula forms, 47 of the first, 44 of the second, and 34 of 
^ the third, no case of the fourth being allowed.^ This frequency 
of use is in striking contrast to that of Kalidasa and Bharavi, for 
he has one Vipula in every three or four verses while in the others 
the proportions range from one to twelve or fourteen. Kalidasa 
again prefers the third to the second Vipula, while Bharavi hardly 
has the third, and Magha treats them equally. Magha is not 
quite so polished a writer as Bharavi, for he allows the weak 
caesura in manag abhydvrttyd vd, and in xi. 18 and %% omits this 
caesura entirely, without the excuse of recondite forms of xix. 5a 
and 108. A further sign of decline in feeling is the almost equal 
use in the case of the first Vipula of the form ^ — for the first 
foot as opposed to ^ ^ — , the figures being twenty-one to twenty- 
six ; Magha evidently did not appreciate the desirability of 
differentiating between the treatment of the first and second 
Vipulas, From his frequent employment of Vipulas Jacobi* 
suggests a western origin for the poet, having regard to the 
similar fact in the case of Hemacandra, and the poet’s knowledge 
of the Vindhya, but this conclusion must be deemed uncertain. 

' In SIFI. vni. ii. 55 the figures are given as 45, 45, 33, and 3, different readings 
being followed. 

* IS. xvii. 444. His style, however, is Gauda, not Vaidarbha. Tradition makes 
him a native of (^rlmala, and this place may have been under Varmalata's rule. 



N O other of the epic poets who have come down to us 
stands on the level of those whom we have reviewed, 
and of the early epic poets whose works are now lost we 
have far too little to be able to form any judgement of their 
true merit. Of Mentha, or Bhartrmentha, also called Hastipaka, 
Kalhana^ tells us that the king Matrgupta, himself a poet, found 
his Hayagrtvavadha so charming that he rewarded the poet by 
giving him a golden dish to place below it when it was being 
bound, lest the flavour should escape ; delighted with this sign of 
appreciation the poet felt the reward needless. Matrgupta was 
according to Kalhana a predecessor of Pravarasena, and his 
personality has suffered a confusion with Kalidasa by unwise con- 
jecture. His date must remain doubtful, but he is credited with 
a comment on the Ndtyagdstra of Bharata of which quotations 
remain. Kalhana cites textually two stanzas, the former of which 
is heavy and laboured, the latter deserves citation : 

ndkdram udvahasi naiva vikatthase tvam : ditsdih na suca- 
yasi mtincasi satphaldni 

nihgabdavarsanam ivdmbudharasya rdjan : sanilaksyate pha- 
lata eva tava prasada/i, 

‘ Thou dost display no emotion, nor dost thou boast ; thou dost 
not reveal thy intention to give, but dost yield thy fair fruits ; as 
when the cloud sheds its rain without a sound, so from its fruit 
alone, o king, is thy favour revealed.’ Mentha receives the com- 
pliment, such as it is, of being placed second in the spiritual 
lineage of Valmiki, Mentha, Bhavabhuti and Raja^ekhara, while 
Mankha places him beside Subandhu, Bharavi, and Bana. Some 
pretty verses are cited from him in the anthologies, as usual with 
dubious correctness, but one may be quoted : 

' iii. 125 flf., 260 ff. Cf. Peterson, Sud/t.^ pp. 92 ff., ii7ff. ; Aufrccht, ZDMG. 
xxvii. 51 ; xxxvi. 368. Thomas {^Kavtndravacanasauniccaya) gives references to 
anthology verses for these poets. 


tathdpy akrtakottalahasapallavitadharani 
mukham grdmavildsinydh sakalam rdjyam arhati. 

* None the less the face of the village maiden, when her lower lip 
blossoms in an unfeigned loud laughter, is worth a whole king- 
dom/ If we trust such evidence as there is regarding the date of 
Pravarasena/ successor of Matrgupta on the throne of Kashmir, 
we may set Mentha towards the latter part of the sixth century, 
and make him a contemporary of the author of the Setubandha. 

Not much later falls the Rdvandrjimlya ^ or Arjunardvaniya 
of Bhaumaka, also styled Bhima, Bhuma, or Bhumaka, who won 
fame in Kashmir. The epic in twenty-seven cantos tells the tale, 
found in the Rdmdyana^ of the strife between Arjuna Kartavirya 
and Ravana, but as in the case of Bhatti, whose example may 
have been followed, though the dates are indecisive, the aim is to 
illustrate rules of grammar. The pedantic side predominates in 
the later work, Kavirahasya ^ of Halayudha, which is really meant 
to illustrate the modes of formation of the present tense of Sanskrit 
roots, but incidentally serves as a eulogy of the Rastrakuta king 
Krsna III {c, A.D. 940-56). 

Kashmir under Avantivarman before the close of the ninth 
century gives us a Buddhist epic of some interest, the Kapphand- 
bhyudaya^^ which is based on a tale in the Avaddnagataka of the 
conversion of a king of the south who had harboured evil designs 
against the king of QiavaslI. This topic is treated by ^ivasvamin 
in the full epic manner, manifestly under the influence of Magha 
and of Bharavi, for the structure of the poem is manifestly based 
on that of the Kirdtdrpiniya as well as of the (^igiipdlavadha. 
The poem opens with a description of Kapphana and Lilavati, his 
royal capital (i). A spy bears the news of the pride of Prasenajit 
and of his just rule, as in Kirdtdrjiiniya i. The princes at the 
court are in confusion at the news (iii) ; there is held a council of 
war (iv), and an envoy is dispatched to bear the threat of war to 
Prasenajit (v). Then occurs the usual digression ; the king is 

' Cf. Stein, Kdjatar,^ i. 83 f. 

* Ed. KM. 68, 1900. Cf. TrivedI, BhaUikavya^ i. pp. x f. 

* Ed. Greifswald, 1900. A Yudhisthiravijaya with a continuation, Dhdtukdvya^ 
dealing with the Bharata story and grammar and roots (KM. x, 53-231) is ascribed to 
a Vasudeva ; cf. possibly the Vasudeva of the rimed poems (JKAS. 1925, pp. 264!!.). 

< Seshagiri, Report, 1893-4, pp. 49!!.; Aufrecht, ZDMG. xxvii. 93 f. ; Thomas, 
Kavindravacanasamuccaya^ pp. 1 1 1 flf. ; Mitra, Nep. Buddh, Lit., p. 38 (Kapphina of 
the Daksinapatha). 

134 the lesser epic POETS 

induced by a Vidyadhara to visit with him the Malaya mountain 
in order there to devise a plan of campaign (vi), in reality to allow 
of the time-honoured descriptions, in which he vies as regards 
figures of sound with ^ignpdlavadha iv and Kirdtdrjunlya v. 
Then are fully developed the encampment of the host (vii), the 
seasons which unite on the mountain in order to permit of the 
poet describing them all in one canto (viii), the sports of the army 
with its women in the water (ix), then their amusements in roam- 
ing the woods and picking flowers (x). Sunset is now due (xi), 
and the moon must rise (xii), to excite the damsels to join with 
their unwarlike swains in a drinking bout (xiii), and then in the 
mysteries of love in the best manner of the Kamagastra (xiv). 
The end of the night and daybreak are now inevitable (xv). The 
host, refreshed and encouraged by its debaucheries, marches (xvi), 
and a long drawn out conflict (xvii-xix) results in the conversion 
of Kapphana (xx). The anthologies have some quite pretty 
verses, but all is very much at second hand, and in this case the 
master is decidedly superior to the pupil. The author clearly 
was well read in Sanskrit literature, and, very naturally for 
a Buddhist, he has a reference to the Ndgananda of Harsa in an 
allusion to the piles of bones of Nagas slain by Garuda heaped 
up on the seashore beyond the Malaya mountains. 

Magha*s great influence is seen also in the Haravijaya^ the 
woik of another Kashmirian, Ratnakara with the styles Rajanaka 
and Vagi9vara, who flourished under Brhaspati or Cippata 
Jayapida and Avantivarman, and was thus in his prime about 
A.D. 850, The theme is of the lightest, the slaying of the demon 
Andhaka, born of Qiva. when Parvatl playfully covered his eyes 
with her hands. The child thus unhappily born blind grows up, 
by austerities wins sight, and becomes master of the three worlds 
until, as usual, ^iva finds it necessary to kill him. The plan is 
the same scheme we have seen already ; Qiva's capital must be 
described (i), then his Tandava dance (ii), the seasons (iii), and 
mount Mandara (iv, v). Then comes in the motif of the appeal of 
the seasons, headed by spring, to Qiva for protection against the 
new conqueror, ^iva’s counsellors now debate, and the poet has 

^ Ed. with Alaka’s comm., KM. 27, 1890. For anthology verses see Peterson, 
Suhhasitdvali^ pp. 96 ff.; Aufrecht, ZDMG. xxxvi. 372 ff. For imitation of Magha, 
cf. Jacobi, WZKM. iv. 240 f. ; Dhruva, v. 25. 


up to Canto xvi to display his perfection in the art of politics. After 
all the talk an envoy is dispatched to the demon to bid him retire 
from the realms he has usurped. Here is the moment for the usual 
► digression, and we have thirteen cantos of the sports of the retinue 
of ?iva, precisely of the same sort already recorded, including sun- 
rise, sunset, the stormy sea, and a very careful exposition of the 
practice of the Kama 9 astra in xxix. The envoy at last reaches the 
demon's kingdom in heaven, which necessarily must be described 
at length (xxxi). The exchange of speeches which follows re- 
quires seven cantos. The envoy naturally returns without 
having accomplished anything save a prodigious amount of bad 
rhetoric ; the forces of ^iva take four cantos to be made ready 
for battle — for which their amorous sports would seem to render 
them dubiously fitted. They prove somewhat mediocre warriors, 
but after Canto xlvii has been variegated by the insertion of 
a hymn to the dread goddess Candi, the poem is allowed to close 
at Canto 1 with the death of the miscreant. The poet claims to 
have imitated Bana, and some notice is taken of him in the 
anthologies, but, though he is doubtless responsible for some 
good stanzas, and Ksemendra attests his skill in the Vasantati- 
laka metre, his poem is a hopeless blunder and his fondness for 
Yamakas adds to its inherent dreariness. No more striking 
instance exists than this of the utter lack of proportion which can 
afflict the minds of poets with considerable technical facility and 
abundant knowledge. 

To the same century and Kashmir belongs Abhinanda, son of 
Jayanta Bhatta, the logician, who wrote an epitome in epic form 
of the Kddambarl of Bana, styled the Kadambarikathasara} and 
who mentions Raja^ekhara as a contemporary. The date of his 
namesake, son of ^atananda, author of a Rdmacarita, which deals 
with the history of Rama from the rape of Sita, is unknown, and 
equally uncertain is it to which of these worthies is ascribed by 
an unknown hand ^ comparison with Kalidasa. What is certain 
is that neither deserves it in the slightest. Kashmir again in the 
eleventh century produced a writer of the most unflinching 
industry and often dreariness, ^ the polymath Ksemendra. In 

' Cf. Thomas, Kavindravacanasamuccaya^ p. 20 ; BUhler, lA. ii. 102 f. 

* Qdrngadhara^ viii. 5, where Acala and Amala are added. 

» Cf. L<vi, JA. 1885, ii. 420. 



1037 he wrote his Bharatamanjarl} in 1066 & Dagdvatdracarita* 
in which each of the ten incarnations of Visnu is described, the 
ninth being the Buddha thus definitely adopted into the Hindu 
pantheon. Of early date no doubt is his Rdmdyanamahjari? an 
epitome of the epic, which like that of the Bhdrata is correct and 
important for the history of the text but poetically worthless. 
He turned the Kddambari also into verse in the Padya-Kddam- 

Kashmir again in the twelfth century produced an interesting 
writer in Mankha, pupil of Ruyyaka, who mentions in his Alam- 
kdrasarvasva his epic, the ^rlkatttkacarita,* which in twenty-five 
cantos tells the tale of the overthrow by Qiva of the demon 
Tripura. The form is the stereotyped one with a few variations; 
thus in Canto i prayers and benedictions occupy a considerable 
space, in ii and iii we have some ethical matter in the form of 
descriptions of the good and the bad, &c. But by iv we are back 
to a description of Kailasa, of its master (v), the spring (vi), and 
then of the usual sports, swinging, plucking flowers in the woods, 
mixed bathing (vii-ix). Then follow the equally usual descrip- 
tions of the dusk, the rising of the moon, and allied topics until 
in xviii-xxi we have a return to more martial exploits ; after 
the usual confusion the hosts of Qiva are marshalled and got 
under way. The Daityas are confounded (xxii), the battle is 
fought in the stereotyped way (xxiii),and Tripura burned. Then 
by a happy transition Mankha gives us in xxv the only part of 
the poem worth reading. He depicts a durbar of learned men 
held by his brother Alamkara, minister of Jayasinha (1129-50). 
Here we have a picture from the real life of the persons who 
made up this learned society, their special capacities and interests, 
the occasion for the gathering being his completion of his poem 
and his declamation of it to his friends. We learn much of 
interest, including the fact that he was one of four brothers who 
all were writers and officials of the court. Doubtless such a Sabha 
must have represented with great accuracy the meetings common 
in the days of Kalidasa and earlier; the similarity to those 

> Ed. KM. 65, 1898. » Ed. KM. a6, 1891. 

* Ed, KM. 83, 1903. Cf. Jacobi, Rdmdyana^ p. 15. 

* Ed. KM. 3, 1887. Cf. Biihler, Report^ pp. 50 ff. On his use of the Udijata 
metre cf. Jacobi, ZDMG. xliii. 467. 



familiar to us from Statius, Juvenal, Martial, and Pliny is striking 
and interesting. No such excursion into the realms of real life 
enlivens the Haracaritacintdmani^ of the Kashmirian Jayaratha 
in the same century, which, however, has some value for religion 
as at once a storehouse of Qaiva myths and of evidence of Qaiva 
practices and beliefs. 

As is well known, the Jains sought steadily to take over all 
Brahmanical myths and make them their own. To Amaracandra 
(c. 1250) we owe a Bdlabhdrata,^ which is distinguished in metre 
but in no other respect. Apparently about 1050 Lolimbaraja 
wrote his Harivildsa ^ which in Canto iii gives the usual descrip- 
tion of the seasons and in iv of Krsna. But little religious poetry 
aimed at Kavya style ; the influence of the Puranas resulted in 
the great mass of Jain work, for instance, being cast in an unpre- 
tentious and pedestrian Sanskrit. 

But a triumph of misplaced ingenuity was attained in the 
twelfth century by three writers. The first perhaps in time was 
Sandhyakara Nandin, whose Rdmapdlacarita ^ is intended to refer 
in each stanza to the history of Rama and also to the king Rama- 
pala, who flourished at the close of the eleventh century in Bengal. 
The second was apparently the Jain writer Dhanamjaya,^ perhaps 
called Qrutakirti, a Digambara, who wrote between 1123 and 
1140 ; thd third Kaviraja,® styled also Suri or Pandita, whose real 
name was perhaps Madhava Bhatta, and whose patron, as he 
obligingly tells us, was Kamadeva, probably the Kadamba king 
(1182-97). Both these authors perpetrated poems styled Rdgha- 
vapdndavlya in which we are told simultaneously the stories of 
the Rdmdyana and the Mahdbhdraia. The feat, which at first 
sight appears incredible, is explained without special difficulty by 
the nature of Sanskrit. Treating each line of verse as a unit, it is 
possible to break it up very variously into words by grouping 

' Ed. KM. 61, 1897. Cf. Buhler, Report^ p. 61. 

* Ed. KM. 45, 1894. Cf, Weber, ZDMG. xxvii. i7off. ; he use« the Lalita and 

^ Ed. KM. xi. 94-133. 

< Ed. MASB. iii. 1-56. 

® Ed. KM. 49, 1895 (18 cantos). Cf. Bhandarkar, Report^ 1884-7, PP* 
Pathak, JBRAS. xxi. i ff. ; Fleet, I A, xxxiii. 279. 

« Ed. KM. 62. The date, c. 1000, ascribed by Bhandarkar, p. 20, is dealt with by 
Pischel (Z?i> Hofdichter des Laksmapmsena, pp. 37 f.). Cf. Fleet, Bombay Gaz.^ i. a. 



together the syllables. Then the meaning of compounds is often 
vitally affected by the mode in which the relations between the 
words composing them are conceived, even when the words are 
understood in the same sense and the compound is analysed into 
the same terms. Further, and this is of special importance, the 
Sanskrit lexica allow to words a very large variety of meanings 
and they supply a considerable number of very strange words 
which have a remarkable appearance of being more or less 
manufactured, in the sense that the meaning or form ascribed 
may have been derived from some mere misunderstanding or in 
some cases from a mere misreading. The way for such works as two poems was paved by the double entendres of Subandhu 
and Bana, and Kaviraja expressly states that he claims to be un- 
rivalled by any but these two in the use of twisted language 
(vakrokti). The Raghavanaisadhiya of Haradatta Suri, of un- 
known date, performs the same feat for the tale of Rama and 
Nala, and a doubtless quite late Raghavapandaviyayadavtya by 
Cidambara adds the absurdity of telling three stories, the third 
being the legend of the Bhagavata Purana} The deplorable 
folly of such works is obvious, but it remains true that Kaviraja 
at least shows some very fair talent and might have written 
something worthy of consideration if his taste had not led him to 
this extravagance. 

A couple of stanzas from the second canto may serve to indi- 
cate the devices by which two stories are told simultaneously : 

nrpetta kanyam janakena ditsitam: ayonija h lambhayitum 

dvijaprakar^ena sa dharmanandanah : sahanujas tam bhu- 
vam apy anlyata. 

' (Rama), who gladdened righteousness, was conducted, together 
with his younger brother, by that best of sages (Vi5vamitra) to 
the place of the Svayamvara, in order that he might be made to 
win the daughter born of no mortal womb, whom king Janaka 
was fain to give in wedlock.’ According to the Mahabharata 
version this runs: ‘The son of Dharma (Yudhisthira) was con- 
ducted, together with his younger brothers, by (order of) that 

* Veiikafadhvarin^s Yddavardghavtya in 30 stanzas tells Rama’s story, while read 
backwards it gives Kfsna’s {Madras CataU^ xx. 7956). 


best of sages (Vyasa) to the place of the Svayamvara (Pancala), 
in order that he might be made to win the daughter born of no 
mortal womb whom her royal father (Dr^ipada) was fain to give 
‘fin wedlock.* Sita was born from the ploughshare, Draupadi from 
the sacrificial altar. 

indrgesv atho dirghatamahsutasya : kalatrakrsrapratimoksanena 
angdravarnasya jiidtmano 'sau: cakdra tosam naradevajantna. 

* Then, as ne fared along, the son of the king of men delighted 
the heart of (the sage) of flaming hue and senses controlled, son 
of Dirghatamas (Gotama) by releasing his spouse from her mis- 
fortune (of being reduced to a stone).* In the case of the Mahd- 
bhdrata we must read tamahsu tasya, and render : ‘ Then, as he 
^ fared on ways where darkness long lingers (near the Ganges), the 
son of the king of men delighted the heart of (the Gandharva) 
Angaravarna, whom he defeated, by releasing him at the prayer 
of his wife from peril of death.* The commentator adds ingenu- 
ously that there is a variant of Angaraparna in the Bhdrata 
whence the tale alluded to is derived, and in that case suggests 
a different rendering for the term as applied to the Rdmdyana* 

The result thus achieved is, of course, ultimately nothing more 
than the systematic development of the love of paronomasias 
which is seen to such perfection in Subandhu and Bana. We 
find a similar result achieved in the curious Rasikaraiijana^ of 
Ramacandra, son of Laksmana Bhatta who wrote in 1542 at 
^ Ayodhya, for the verses of that work, read one way, give an 
erotic poem, in another, a eulogy of asceticism. L. H. Gray ^ 
has noted a western parallel in the elegy of Leon of Medina on 
his teacher Moses Bassola, which can be read either as. Italian or 
as Hebrew.® 

An interesting and characteristic figure of the latest stage of 
classical Kavya is Qriharsa, son of Hira and MamalladevI, author 
of the Naisadhacarita ^ or Naisadhlya, who wrote probably under 
Vijayacandra and Jayacandra of Kanauj in the second half of the 

' Ed. and trans. R. Schmidt, Stuttgart, 1896. 

* Vdsavadattdy p. 32, n. i. 

* Vidyamadhava, author of a treatise on horary astrology (ed. Bibl, Sansk* 63) and 
a comm, on Bharavi, cites Bana, Subandhu, and himself with Kaviraja as masters ; his 
Pdrvatirukminiya describes the marriages of (^iva and Parvati, Kfsna and Rukminl. 
He wrote under Somadeva of the Culukya line {Madras Catal.f xx. 777 ® 

< Ed. BI. 1836 and 1855 (two parts) and NSP. 1894. 


twelfth century,^ though this date has not passed unquestioned.^ 
He was also author of other works, including the Khandanakha- 
ndakhadya in which he establishes the reasonableness of the 
Vedanta by showing that all attempts at obtaining certainty are 
fallacious. The Naisadhiya unquestionably has a definite interest 
in the history of Sanskrit literature, for it exhibits the application 
to the charming episode of the Mahdbharata, familiar to all 
students as the Nala, of the full resources of a master of diction 
and metre, possessed of a high degree of skill in the difficult art 
of playing on words, and capable of both delicate observation of 
nature and of effective expression of the impressions thence 
derived. Indian taste shows its appreciation of him beyond 
question in naming him a Mahakavi as the successor of Kalidasa, 
Bharavi, and Magha, nor need we doubt that to any of these 
critics the Nala would have seemed insufferably tame compared 
to the work of ^riharsa. As one enthusiast of modern times ^ 
says, ‘ all mythology is at his fingers* ends. Rhetoric he rides 
over. He sees no end to the flow of his description,’ and the same 
author, in recounting a tradition that the work counted when 
complete 6 o or j 20 cantos expresses the hope that the missing 
portion may be discovered in some collection of manuscripts. It 
is happily incredible that even ^rlhaisa should have thought it 
worth while further elaborating his theme. As it is, the long 
poem carries us only to a description of the married bliss of Nala 
and DamayantI, leaving off with a description of the moon carried 
out in a dialogue between the amorous pair. Needless to say, 
Qrlharsa, in dealing with the theme of the wedding, shows that 
his logical studies had in no way prevented him becoming an 
expert of great skill in all the complexities of the Kdmasutra, 
We could wish that there was some respectable authority for an 
anecdote once current regarding Harsa ; he was, this tale runs, 
the nephew of Mammata, the famous author of the Kdvyapra- 
kdfUy to whom in pride he exhibited his poem. His uncle, in lieu 
of rejoicing, expressed only profound regret that he had not seen 
it before he wrote the chapter on faults in poetry in that treatise, 
since it would have saved him all the labour to which he had 

» Biihler. JBRAS. x. 31 ff. ; xi. 279 flf. a R. P. Chanda, lA. xlii 83!,, 286 f. 

® Krishnamacharya, Sanskr, ZfV., p 45. Nilakamala Bhattacharya {JVaisiu/Aa and 
iri harsa') argues that he was a Bengali. 


been put in searching books to find illustrations of the mistakes 
which he censured. 

Yet it is fair to admit Qrlharsa’s cleverness ; his power of double 
entendre receives perfectly fair use in the recast of the famous 
scene in which Damayanti sees before her five men apparently 
exactly alike and cannot decide which is her lover. Sarasvati, 
in (Jriharsa’s version, presents the five to her and describes each 
in words which on one reading do express his true identity, but 
on the other apply to Nala, thus setting the poor girl a still more 
distracting task. It is a consolation to reflect that, even had she 
known Sanskrit, she would not have been able without a comment 
to understand what was said by the goddess. Nor, again, is it 
possible to deny that the transition in the last canto from the 
description of night to that of the moon is gracefully effected ; 
Nala exclaims that the moon has grown red with anger at the 
too prolonged celebration of the beauties of his friend, and then 
to appease his wrath he straightway hails the appearance of the 
moon rising in ruddy splendour.^ 

^rlharsa uses only nineteen metres, a comparatively small 
number. Of these, the favourite is Upajati of the Indravajra 
type, which is predominant in seven cantos; the Van9astha type 
prevails in four cantos and is the chief metre in Canto xii, in 
which after the model of Bharavi and Magha the poet goes out 
of his way to vary his metres. The ^loka,^ Vasantatilaka, and 
Svagata are each the main metre of two cantos, while one canto 
each is found of Drutavilambita, Rathoddhata, Vaitaliya, and 
Harim. There is only one stanza in each of Acaladhrti, Totaka, 
Dodhaka, and Prthvi, and five in Mandakranta. More frequent 
yet limited use is made of Puspitagra, Malini, Qikharim, and 

Though on the whole we must condemn the elaboration ol 
^riharsa and his excessive use of Yamakas and rime, he was 
certainly capable of elegance and skill in the use of language, as 
in his famous description of the rising of the moon : 

1 The Suprabhdtastotra (Thomas, JRAS. 1903, pp. 703-22) ascribed to him is also 
claimed for Harsavardhana (Jackson, Priyadariika, p. xlv). An Uttaranaisadhiya 
in sixteen cantos was written by Vandaru Bhatta {Madras CataL^ xx. 7692)* 

* He rarely has Vipulas (only four in 752 half-stanzas in xvii and xx); SIFI. VIII. 
ii. 54, In xvii. 199 a line ends with a caesura in Sandhi. 



pagydvrto py esa nimesam adrer : adhltyakabhumitiraska- 

pravar^ati preyasi candrikabhif : cakoracancuculnkam pra- 

‘ See, darling, how, for a moment hidden though it be by the 
curtain of the summit of the mountain, the moon doth spare the 
rain of its moonbeams to quench the thirst of the Cakora birds/ 

dhvantadrumdntdn abhisdrikds tv am: gahkasva sainketa- 
niketam dptdk 

chdydchaldd ujjhitanilaceld : jyoisndnuktdaig calitd dukfilaih. 

* Just fancy that these beams are maidens which have sought at 
the foot of the trees in the dusk secret meeting with their lovers ; ? 
now laying aside their dark garments as though they were the 
shadow, they move in raiment that matches the moonlight.’ 

ivaddsyalaksmlmtikuram cakoraih : svakau 7 midlm adayamd- 
nam indum 

drgd nigendlvaracdrubhdsa : piboru rambhdtaruplvaroru. 

* Drink thou deep with thine eyes, that are fair as the night lotus, 
the moon that doth serve to mirror the loveliness of thy face, and 
that doth make the Cakoras feed on its light, o lady whose thighs 
are fair as the young plantain shoots.’ 

The Jains naturally enough aimed at vying with the classical 
epic, and we have in the Vagod/iaracarita^ of Kanakasena Vadi- 
raja, a resident in the Dravida country, whose pupil Qrivijaya 
flourished about A.D. 950, a Kavya in four cantos with 1x96 verses. 
Its contents agree with the Y agastilaka of the slightly later 
Somadeva, showing that the tale must have been then current ; 
the two versions differ slightly in content but not in spirit. 
Another version of the legend is that of Manikya Suri whose 
Yagodharacaritra * belongs probably to the eleventh century at 
latest. It represents the work of a (^^vetambara Jain of Gujarat, 
as opposed to the Digambara version of Vadiraja, but the two 
accounts are independent. To the period between 1160 and 
1172 belongs the enormous work of Hemacandra (1088-1172), 

* Ed. 1910 ; see Hertel, Pala und Gopdla^ pp. 91 ff., I46ff. 

* Ed. Tanjorc, 1912 ; Hertel, pp. 81 ff., I39ff. 


the Trisastigaldkdpurusacarita} which in ten Parvans handles 
the lives of the sixty-three best men of the Jain faith, the twenty- 
four Jinas, twelve Cakravartins, nine Vasudevas, nine Baladevas, 
and nine Visnudvisas. The epic is long and wearisome, though 
the language is simple and not elaborate ; the last Parvan, which 
deals with the life of Mahavira, comes nearer to sober history in 
that it gives us some definite information regarding the life of 
this worthy, if prolix, monk, who succeeded in converting to 
Jainism Kumarapala of Gujarat. Of unknown date is Hari- 
candra, author of the Dharmagarmdhhyudaya^ in twenty-one 
cantos, on the life of the fifteenth Tirthakara, Dharmanatha. 
Neminathas life is the subject of a Kavya ^ in fifteen cantos by 
the writer on poetics Vagbhata, probably in the twelfth century. 
There may be mentioned as having some claim to consideration 
the Pdndavacaritra and Mrgdvailcaritra ^ of Devaprabha Suri 
of the school of Maladharin in the thirteenth century, and Cari- 
trasundara Ganin’s Mahipdlacaritra^ which claims to be a Maha- 
kavya in fourteen cantos of 1159 verses. These works, however, 
have value rather for their tales than for their literary merit. Of 
much higher merit in this regard, though it deals with a trite 
theme and the author evidently knew both A^vaghosa and Kali- 
dasa’s works well, is the Mahakavya Padyacuddmani ® ascribed 
to a Buddhaghosacarya. That this is the work of the famous 
Pali scholar Buddhaghosa can hardly be seriously affirmed ; the 
silence of our records of that able man would be inexplicable, 
and, if the attribution is not a case of false ascription, it remains 
that there must have lived a scholar of the same name, whose 
date at present evades definite determination. 

‘ Ed. Bombay, 1905. See Biihler, Ober das Leben cUs Jaina-Monches Hema- 
chandra (1889); Jacobi, ERE. vi. 591. 

* Ed. KM. 1888. Cf. Peterson, Report^ ii, pp. 77 ff. He perhaps wrote the 
JtvandharacampUj and uses Magha and Vakpati (WZKM. iii. 136 fF.). HU father 
was a Kayastha, Ardradeva. 

* NeminirvSfuXj ed. KM. 56, 1896. The identity of the author is not certain. In 
Madras Catal.^ xx. 7754 he is son of Dahata (? Bahama), of the Pragvadi family. 

^ Ed. 1909; Hertel, pp. 105 ff., 150 ff. Cf. Peterson, Reporty iii, pp. 273 ff. 

® Ed. 1909 ; Hertel, pp. 72 ff., i38ff. 

® Ed. Madras, 1921. 



I. Indian Historical Writing 

T O the old complaint that India has no historians and no 
historical sense it has recently been objected, doubtless 
with a measure of truth, that there is a certain amount of 
writing and a number of facts attesting a degree of sense for 
history. In view of the antiquity and the developed character 
of Indian civilization it would indeed be ridiculous to expect to 
find India destitute of historical sense, but what is really essential 
is the fact that, despite the abundance of its literature, history is 
so miserably represented, and that in the whole of the great 
period of Sanskrit literature there is not one writer who can be 
seriously regarded as a critical historian. We have as the nearest 
approach to a true historian a poet of no mean ability, much 
industry, and a desire to tell the truth, who had for recent 
history very fair sources of information, but the most ardent 
admirer of Kalhana would not for a moment claim for him that 
he could be matched even with Herodotos, and it must be 
remembered that no other writer approaches even remotely the 
achievement of Kalhana, 

The causes of this phenomenon must lie in peculiarities of 
Indian psychology aided by environment and the course of 
events, and it is idle to hope to give any explanation which will 
be entirely satisfying. We may remember that India produced 
no oratory, despite the distinct power often displayed both in the 
epics and in Classical Kavya of the rhetorical presentment of 
a case by opposing disputants. Oratory doubtless, as history 
proves, has flourished best where there has been political 
freedom ; Athens is as celebrated for oratory as Sparta was 
deficient in it, and Rome produced its best orators when there 
still was a Republic in which certain classes at least had effective 
political rights. It may be that India failed to produce historians 


because the great political events which affected her during the 
period up to A. D. 1200 did not call forth popular action in the 
sense in which the repulse of the Persian attacks on Greece 
evoked the history of Herodotos.' The national feeling, which 
is at least a powerful aid to the writing of history, was not 
evoked in India in the same manner as it was when democratic 
states formed the most serious element of resistance to the 
Persian attack at a time when more oligarchic governments 
were apparently far less deeply moved by any sentiment of 

It may be admitted that the foreign attacks on India in the 
period of the first four centuries B. C. were probably not such 
as to excite deep national feeling. Alexander*s invasion was 
followed by the early loss of the most Indian of the territories 
won to Candragupta, apparently without any such struggle as 
would induce a sense of national danger and national triumph. 
The Greek, Parthian, Qaka, and Kusana successes were possible 
in large measure because such a sentiment did not exist, and the 
process of assimilation went on so steadily that, when the Gupta 
revival came, it can hardly have been felt as a national revival, 
however much it seems so to us ex pdst facto. Thereafter, until 
the eleventh century, the wars of India were merely struggles 
between rival dynasties, wars of crows and kites, in which no 
deep signification could lie.^ The Mahomedan invaders found 
India without any real national feeling; their successes were 
Tendered possible largely because the chiefs disliked one another 
far more than they did the Mleccha. It is characteristic that 
even in the ballads evoked by the struggle the sense of nationality 
is only in process of development. 

From the standpoint of psychology it is not difficult to under- 
stand that the view that history had any meaning or value was 
one unlikely to receive acceptance in India. The prevailing 
doctrines told distinctly against any such estimate of events. In 

^ Another side of Greek mentality, the criticism of tradition, is seen in Hekataios 
of Miletos, whose patriotism, like his history, was marked by caution and weighing of 
evidence. Cf. J. B. Bury, Ancient Greek Historians (1909). 

* Stein, Rdjatarangini^ i. a8 ff. ; Oldenberg, Aus dem alien Indien^ pp. 65 ff. 

* Contrast Lucan’s prophetic words (vii. 43a f.) : 

quod fugiens civile nefas redituraque nunquam 
Libertas ultra Tigrim Rhenumque reccssit. 




the strict logical sense of the doctrine of Karnman all men*s 
actions were the outcome of actions done in previous births ; they 
were, therefore, wholly uncalculable, for no one could tell what" 
deed in the remotest past might not spring up to work out its 
inevitable end. Beside this belief, and evidently in full strength 
in many minds, was the view that all things were brought about 
by fate, working in a manner wholly unintelligible and beyond 
all foresight. To these more rational views, which might be 
combined and even reconciled by exercise of a little ingenuity, 
was added the acceptance by the Indian mind of the miraculous 
in the shape of divine intervention, magic, and witchcraft.^ The 
scientific attitude of mind which seeks to find natural causes for 
events of nature is not normal in India, and the conception that “ 
nature is not capable of being affected by divine or demoniac 
instrumentalities would have seemed ludicrous to the vast majority 
of its people; Buddhists and Jains were as little inclined to 
abandon popular superstitions as were Brahmins. Nay, all three 
religions favoured the belief in the habit of sages by asceticism 
to attain magic powers; the doctrine that these powers can be 
acquired by regular forms of process is inculcated in their philo- 
sophies, and persons who were able to achieve these results were 
capable of affecting the processes of nature, so that to ascribe 
similar powers to superhuman beings was perfectly natural. 
Moreover, the philosophies of every kind taught that there was 
no progress in our sense in the world ; things had happened age 
after age in precisely the same way ; the doctrine of the periodica'! 
creation and destruction of the world of the Brahmanical post- 
Vedic texts is on the same plane as the theory of the Buddhists 
of the existence of innumerable earlier Buddhas and the long 
line of Jain Tirthakaras. 

Nor were the Indians without what seemed to them an 
excellent substitute for history in our sense. To the average 
Indian now, and doubtless of centuries ago, the heroes of the 
past and those historical kings who had been converted by their 
imagination into heroic figures were quite as real as, if not more 
real than, their local princes of the present time. Nor was it 
merely that they were as real ; they possessed the great advantage 
of being recognized and admired over wide areas of India. It is , 

^ Cf. Lucan on the Thessalian witches, vi. 415 ff. 


hardly wonderful, therefore, that even those chronicles and 
panegyrics which were composed in honour of contemporary 
princes were soon no longer copied by scribes or studied, 
preference being accorded in lieu to works like the epics, which 
were certain to be of abiding interest. It has been well remarked ' 
that, while the Pandits have copied and commented with eager- 
ness on the Naisadhlya of (^riharsa, they have allowed to sink 
into oblivion the Navasdkasdhkacaritay which he wrote to 
celebrate the deeds of his patron. 

Something too must be allowed for the tendency of the Indian 
mind to prefer the general to the particular, which is shown in 
widely different spheres of knowledge. We hear, for instance, 
in Buddhist texts of certain definite heresies, but we are equally 
faced with schematic lists of unsound philosophical views which 
are asserted to have been held by others, but which in large 
measure are obviously mere inventions. Throughout the history 
of Indian philosophy the same thing is seen ; no one seems to be 
in the least interested in the history of doctrines, no one writes 
a history of philosophy as contrasted with summaries of opposing 
doctrines ; no one even attempts a real history of politics or 
medicine. What interests writers is not questions of the opinions 
of predecessors as individuals, but the discussion of divergencies 
of doctrine all imagined as having arisen ex initio. The names of 
some great authorities may be preserved, as in the case of the 
schools of philosophy, but nothing whatever with any taint of 
actuality is recorded regarding their personalities, and we are 
left to grope for dates. This indifference to chronology is seen 
everywhere in India, and must be definitely connected, in the 
ultimate issue, with the quite secondary character ascribed to 
time by the philosophies. 

2 . The Beginnings of History 

The Puranas, as we have them, contain amidst vast masses of 
other matter, religious and social, some traces of the activity 
of court poets who made genealogies, but the value of these 
notices is of the most limited description ; the lists of names and 
dates alone which is what they normally contribute are regularly, 

' Biihler, Vikramdnkadevacariia, p. 2. Ilis other panegyrics are lost, and we are 
not certain of his patron. 


when compared with our more reliable evidence, hopelessly 
inaccurate, showing that at the time when they came into being 
the interest of genealogists was rather edification by constructing 
pleasing ancestries than accurate record of facts. It may indeed 
be doubted whether with the most critical care anything could 
be retrieved of substantial value additional to other sources of 
information ; hitherto they have been treated only without critical 
judgement or acumen.^ Beside them may be put the lists of 
teachers which occasionally are recorded in later Vedic texts, but 
which are anything but free from suspicion of interpolation and 
exaggeration, though they prove, what was hardly dubious in 
any event, that there prevailed the practice of remembering series 
of teachers and pupils. The Buddhists made some more serious 
approach to history in their legends of the Buddha, but, valuable 
as is the matter which they have preserved, it remains clear, from 
their greatest creation,^ the Mahdvahsa of Mahanaman in the 
fifth century A. D., that during the passage of the centuries the 
monks had not acquired any real historical sense. A king like 
A^oka was, of course, a model of pious deeds, but not the 
slightest attempt is made to treat his life and efforts in an 
historical spirit ; instead, we learn of the courteous action of the 
wild beasts and birds who come to the royal kitchen and die 
there, to prevent the sin of slaying them for food, of miracle- 
performing snakes, and sages who come down to earth to cleanse 
the community of heretics. Even in contemporary times the 
poet is untrustworthy ; all is looked at merely from the point of 
view of the attitude of the king for the time being towards th^ 
special community of monks among whom the author lived. 
Still less, of course, do we find history among the Jains; their 
Pattavalis, kept doubtless from early times but only recorded 
rather late, preserve lists of pontiffs, they had a stereotyped life 
of their Tu thakaras, and endeavoured to attach Jain legends to 
such names as that of Candragupta,^ but serious history was 
repugnant to them. Eulogies of saints are common to the sects, 
but serious historical work is quite unknown. 

^ To ascribe authority for the period 1000-500 b. c. to works that know nothing of 
the 3rd cent. A. D. is foolish. See Keith, EHK. 193 j, pp. 607 f. 

• Dtpavainsa und Mahdvamsa \ Olden berg, Atts deni alien Indien^^ip, yyff. 

* Smith’s acceptance (EHI. p. 154) of the legend of his resignation is quite un- 


Poetic merit of a modest kind, however, may be found from 
time to time in the inscriptions which are the most substantial 
early contribution to Indian history. The most valuable in this 
regard are the encomia, Pra9astis, of which we have already 
noted specimens of the Gupta age. The typical Pra9asti^ is 
simple in structure ; after a benediction, it proceeds to describe 
the donor, and, when the two are not identical, the reigning 
prince, giving in either case some genealogical information, then 
it sets out the donation and enumerates any conditions or 
privileges accompanying it, such as freedom from interference by 
the royal officers or remission of taxation, invokes the favour of 
heaven for the maintenance of the memorial, utters imprecations 
on any person interfering with the donation, and sets out the 
name of the architect' who constructed it, the priest who con- 
secrated it, the poet, and the scribe who engraved the letters, 
with in many cases the date. The form, of course, varies with 
the nature of the object on which it is engraved, temple, public 
building, copper plate, memorial of the dead, &c., but the 
historically interesting part is normally the genealogy and 
account, if any, of the deeds of the dedicator, if a king. These 
Pra9astis may be quite short, ten or twelve lines, or they may 
even exceed a hundred lines, and their value as history and 
poetry differs enormously. What is fairly certain is that the 
genealogies are frequently * faked * ; the kings for whom they 
were composed desired to be connected either with fabled heroes 
and royal lines of old, or, especially in the south, desired to 
make out that they were scions of the great royal houses of the 
north. As poetry they do not normally merit admiration, for 
they are decidedly elaborate in form, if at all pretentious, and we 
are not favourably impressed by the self-confidence of that Rama 
who in the eighth century calls himself Kavi9vara, lord of poets, 
and asserts that the goddess of eloquence dwelt in his childish 
mouth ere he had forgotten the taste of his mother’s milk. His 
skill is of the type admired in India but less attractive to 
westei^rn taste ; he composes a Stotra, hymn of praise, in which 
each of the fourteen stanzas applies equally well to Parvati as to 

' Sec BUhler, WZKM. ii. 86 ff. ; El. i. 97 ff. Their form as a blend of prose and 
poetry is recognized in the later writers on poetics as a Biruda; Sdhityouiarpatui^ V), 
570. For a collection see PrdcinaUkhamdld, KM. 34, 64, 80. 


her consort (^iva, and he exhibits by his choice of recondite con- 
structions and rare words that he had studied diligently both 
grammar and lexica. The same curious device of including 
a Stotra in an inscription is seen in the case of Lalitasuradeva in 
the ninth century.^ It is fair to say that not rarely there is found 
a poetical idea happily expressed in a panegyric both early and 
late, but in the main they are rather dreary and hackneyed 
documents.^ And, what is vital, they represent merely a first 
step towards history. 

We can hardly say that we are carried further into the region 
of history by the Harsacariia of Bana, for, beyond a very few 
facts about his immediate predecessors, we are given merely 
a confused glimpse of a very small part of the deeds of Harsa of 
Thanesar, and the work may best be treated as a romance, which 
it is in all essentials. As a nearer approach to history may be 
ranked the Gaiidavaha'^ of Vakpatiraja, which was written to 
celebrate the defeat of a Gauda prince by the poet’s patron, 
Yafovarman of Kanauj, who himself, however, was overthrown 
and killed not much later (r. 74o) by Lalitaditya of Kashmir. 
Possibly this fact explains the curious condition of the poem, 
which contains as little history as possible, but expatiates instead 
in the wonted Kavya manner in descriptions of scenery and the 
seasons, and of the amusements of kings, and does not scruple to 
relate myths. It may be that the poet, after his patron’s death, 
left unfinished the poem which thus is merely a torso. The 
alternative is to suppose that we have in it as it stands a series 
of excerpts dealing with those topics which Pandits liked, 
omitting tedious historical details. No certainty is possible ; it 
may be that the poem is all that Vakpati ever intended to write. 
It is in Maharastu Prakrit, and, though it does not aim at plays 
on words and double meanings, it affects far too long compounds 
in the Gauda manner, nor does it normally reach any high 
standard of merit, though it contains some vivid pictures of 
village life— Maharastrl poetry has always clung close to the 
soil — and the description of a southern temple oi Kali where 

' lA. XXV. 177 f, 

* Har^a has some spirited lines; Jackson, PiiyadarHkCi^ pp. xliiif, 

• Ed. S. P. Pandit, BSS. 34, 1887; cf. Buhler, WZKM. i. 334ff. ; ii 338 ff.! 
Smith, JRAS. 1908, pp. 765- 93. Hertel's views (^sia Major, i) on Bbavabhuti and 
Vakpati cany no conviction. 


human sacrifices are offered has the grim horror which attracts 
Indian taste. Uncertainty attends its date; it is characteristic 
of the poem that we do not even hear the name of the Gauda 
king; if written after Ya9ovarman's fall it may be placed about 
A.D. 750. 

We are still far from serious history in the Navasdhasdnka- 
carita'^ of Padmagupta, also called Parimala, whose work, in 
eighteen cantos, was written about 1005. It relates the mythical 
theme of the winning of the princess ^a^iprabha, but is intended 
at the same time to allude to the history of king Sindhuraja 
Navasahasanka of Malava ; we have by the hand of Bilhana 
a similar example of this curious treatment in the drama 
Karnasundarl in which he celebrates, under the guise of the 
marriage of a Caulukya prince to the daughter of a Vidyadhara 
king, an actual wedding of his patron to a princess. Obviously 
the method does not tend towards historical treatment or results. 
But the poet is by no means without the power of graceful 
expression, however impossible it may be to treat seriously his 
poem as a whole. Thus he has quite a happy conception in : 

citravartiny api nrpe tatlvavegena cetasi 
vriddrdhavalitam cakre mukhendum avagaiva sd. 

‘ As the truth pierced the soul of the king, though 'twas only his 
picture, the maiden made his moon-like forehead half- wrinkled 
with shame.’ 

dhdram na karoti ndnibu pibati strainam 71a samsevate 
gete yat sikatdsn r 7 iuktavisayag caitddtapaih sevate 
tvatpddabjarajahprasddakaTiikdldbhonfnukhas tan marau 
manye Mdlavasihha Gurjarapatis tlvra 7 h tapas tapyate, 

‘ He eats not nor drinks water ; women he frequents not ; he lies 
on the sand, indifferent to things of sense he courts the burning 
heat; surely, o Lion of Malava, the lord of Gurjara performs 
thus a dread penance there in the desert that he may become 
worthy to be honoured by touching the dust of thy lotus feet.* 
Pretty is the following: 

^ Ed. V. S. Islamptirkar, BSS, 53, 1895; G. Biihlcr and Th. Zachariae, Ober das 
Navasdhasdnkacharita (1888). On his use of the Udgata metre see Jacobi, ZDMG. 
xliii. 467 ; SIFI, VIII. ii. no. 


tatra sthitaik sthitimata varadeva daivad: bhrtyena U cakita- 
cittam iyanty ahdni 

utkampini stanaiaU harinek^anandm : harm pranartayati yatra 

‘ There, my noble liege, as fate willed, thy servant won a footing 
and abode for many days with troubled heart, where thy valour 
makes to dance the necklaces on the quivering breasts of the 
deer-eyed ladies.’ A more elaborate effort to depict the plight 
of the Gurjara queen in her husband’s defeat is less successful : 

magndni dvi^atam kulani satnare tvatkhadgadhdrdkule 
ndthdsminn iti vandivdci bahugo deva grutdydm purd 
mugdhd Gurjarabhumipdlamahisl pratydgayd pdthasah 
kdntdre cakitd vimuncaii muhuh patyuh krpdne dfgau. 

‘ As she wanders in terror in the forest, o King, the simple queen 
of Gurjara’s lord gazes ever at her hu&band's blade in her craving 
for water ; has she not heard many a time the minstrels chant, 
“ The hosts of the foe, o lord, have been drowned in the whirl- 
pool of battle raised by the torrent of thy glaive”?’ The 
unfortunate lady is misled by the ambiguity of the term magndni 
and of dkdrd, which means both torrent and edge of a sword. 

We have only the name of ^ankuka, who wrote the Bhuva- 
ndbhyudaya, in which Kalhana ^ tells us he described the dread 
battle of Mamma and Utpala {c. A. D. 850) 

ruddhapravaha yatrasid Vitastd subhatair kataih 

' where the current of the Vitasta was stemmed by the bodies of 
the slain.’ The anthologies ascribe to a Qahkuka certain verses, 
but it is quite uncertain whether he is to be identified with this 
author; in the case of one verse the ascription is to Qankuka 
Mayura’s son, and it has been conjectured that the Mayura 
meant may be the contemporary of Bana {c. A. D. 630), though 
this is mere surmise. A Qanku figures in the list of jewels of 
Vikramaditya’s court ; he may represent the tradition of one or 
other of these poets, if indeed they are to be identified. 

* iv. 704 f. Cf, Peterson, Subhdsitdvali^ p. 137; Quackenbos, Th$ Sanskrit 
Poems of Mayura^ pp, 50-2. 



3 * Bilharui 

It is to Kashmir that we must look for the first more serious 
contribution to history, for Bilhana — the form of name is Kash- 
mirian — was born there, though he left his home perhaps under 
Kala^a’s reign and wandered far and wide visiting Mathura, 
Kanauj, Prayaga, and Ka9lj and staying for a time at the court 
of a prince Karna of Dahala,^ perhaps also with the Caulukya 
Karnadeva Trailokyamalla (1064-94) of Anhilvad, before he was 
received as Vidyapati, master of the sciences, by Vikramaditya VI, 
Calukya king of Kalyana (1076-1127), who bestowed upon him 
the gifts of a blue parasol and an elephant and chained him to 
his court. When at Karna’s capital, he defeated in a literary 
competition the poet Gangadhara and appears to have written 
a poem on Rama, and he hints that the famous Bhoja of Dhara * 
would have been glad to welcome him to his court. At any rate 
he rewarded his patron by composing in his honour his epic in 
eighteen cantos, the Vikramdhkadevacarita? The date of that 
work appears to fall before 1088, because it passes in silence the 
great expedition of the king to the south which took place then, 
and because it mentions as prince, not king, Harsadeva of Kash- 
mir who became king only in that year, and we know from 
Kalhana^ that Bilhana actually lived to hear of Harsadeva's 
accession. Of his parentage we know that his immediate 
ancestors Muktikala9a, Rajakala9a, and Jyesthakala9a, his father, 
were Brahmins, students of the Veda, who performed the Vedic 
Agnihotra (fire-oblation) sacrifice ; his mother was NagadevI, his 
brothers were Istarama and Ananda, both scholars and poets, 
while he himself was taught the Veda, grammar up to the 
Mahdbhd^ya^ and poetics. 

The Vikramdhkadevacarita is essentially an application of 
the normal recipe for making an epic to a historical theme, and 
it begins, therefore, with the usual application, in this case to 

' Presumably of Cedi, and different from the Karna of the Karnasundarl (Konow, 
Das indische Drama^ p. 1 1 a). The Cedi king was seemingly of long life and many 
vicissitudes (Duff, Chronology^ pp. lao, lar, 135). 

* This suggests that Bhoja was alive later than 1060 ; so also Kalhana, vii. 359, 
treats him as alive in 1063. 

* Ed. G, Biihlcr, BSS. 14, 1875. Ct”. A, V. V. Ayyar, lA. xlviii. 114 ff., 133 ff. 

* vii. 936-8. 


Brahman, to create a hero for the safety of the world ; the god 
agreed, and from his waterpot (culuka) sprang the founder of the 
Calukya dynasty, whose first home in Ayodhya was abandoned 
by later kings who extended their conquests to the betel palms of 
the south, ‘ where the hooves of their horses wrote the record of 
their victories on the sands of the ocean shore which witnesses 
the secrets of the Colas/ This purely imaginary origin for the 
family is followed by a long break in the tradition, and Bilhana 
passes to Tailapa (973^97) whose victory over the Rastrakutas is 
recorded but not his defeat by the king of Malava. The kings 
following are, with one exception, mentioned, and then the poet 
concentrates on Ahavamalla (1040-69), the father of his hero. 
This victorious king has no son ; he and his wife serve humbly 
in (^iva*s temple, and he is promised in reward by the god two 
sons as the reward of his penance, but one more as a special boon. 
Three sons are born, Some9vara, Vikramaditya, and Jayasinha, 
the birth of the second being preceded by remarkable portents 
presaging his future greatness. When the boj s grew up, Ahava- 
malla pressed on Vikramaditya the duty of fulfilling the purpose 
of (JJiva and accepting the heir-apparentship, but the virtuous 
prince declined to oust his brother. He proceeded, however, to 
win many victories which greatly delighted his father, but in the 
midst of his rejoicing he was attacked by a malignant fever. 
Greatly distressed, he decided to end his life, and, his ministers 
giving reluctant consent, journeyed to the Tungabhadra, the 
Ganges of the south, and there perished in the water, setting his 
heart on Qiva. Vikramaditya was deeply distressed by the news, 
was with difficulty induced to remain alive, but ultimately re- 
turned to the capital where his brother for a time lived peaceably 
with him. But suspicions arose between the two, and Vikrama- 
ditya retired with his brother Jayasinha, and took up a position 
on the Tungabhadra. He effected then an alliance with the Cola 
king, but after his ally’s death the throne, despite efforts on his 
part, fell into the hands of Rajiga, who concerted an alliance with 
Some9vara against Vikramaditya. The result, however, was 
fatal to the allies ; Qiva urged the reluctant Vikramaditya to do 
battle, and, when he had captured his brother, angrily compelled 
him to abandon his intention of allowing his brother to resume 
the royal power. He then made Jayasinha viceroy in Vanavasa 

BILHAlilA 155 

and efifected more conquests. At this point the poet introduces 
the usual diversion from serious matters. The king hears of the 
Svayamvara of a Rajput princess, Candaladevi, and wins her as 
his bride ; this gives Bilhana the opportunity of describing the 
effect of the spring on the passions, and the beauties of the 
maiden in minute detail (viii). The wedding over, the king and 
his bride disport themselves ; he swings her with his own hand, 
they pluck flowers, bathe together, and a carousal at which the 
Rajput ladies drink deep follows (ix-xi). The king now returns 
to Kalyana, but merely to occupy a canto with fresh bathing 
scenes (xii) and an ode to the breaking of the monsoon (xiii). 
Jayasihha, however, gave trouble; he had to be overcome but 
pardoned (xiv, xv), and the king then engaged in hunting, slay- 
ing lions, hunting boars with dogs, and shooting arrows at deer 
(xvi). Sons were born to him, and he built a city Vikramapura, 
and erected a temple to Visnu Kamalavilasin. But the Colas, 
having apparently been defeated rather in the poet’s imagination 
than in reality, gave more trouble. Vikrama has to defeat them 
again and occupy for a time Kancl. The last canto is refresh- 
ingly interesting, for it gives an account of Bilhana’s own family 
and his life as a wandering Pandit, attesting a practice whicih 
prevailed down to the most recent times. 

It is difficult to say much for Bilhana as a historian. We may 
justly suspect his impartiality ; (^iva intervenes in the affairs of 
his hero with suspicious promptitude, and the impression con- 
veyed is certainly that the poet is trying by stressing the super- 
natural intervention in his favour to explain away the awkward 
fact that he fought with both his brothers. We have no real 
character-drawing, but merely the reflex of the epic; Ahava- 
malla and Vikramaditya are as heroes necessarily paragons of 
virtue, the others vicious. It is quite in keeping with the epic 
n^anner that the Colas, so often rooted out, are at the end of the 
poem still perfectly capable of worrying the ruler. Again, the 
artificial style leaves often difficulty as to the precise sense ; it is 
not even certain whether while at Karna’s court Bilhana wrote 
a poem on Rama or made a journey to Ayodhya. Chronology is 
utterly lacking, as it is in Bana ; ‘ after some days ’ or * after many 
days * are expressions quite worthless, and while the inscriptions 
generally confirm Bilhana’s narrative, there remain much vague- 


ness and inaccuracy, or at least exaggeration as in the case of 
his alleged Gauda conquests. An irritating but epic vagueness 
prevails ; there is dubiety about the identity of the two Karnas 
whom he mentions,^ and he frequently leaves out the names o( 
minor personages, leaving us to guess their identity. The descrip- 
tions of the usual pleasures of a royal court are doubtless generi- 
cally true, but they are clearly out of place, and the Svayamvara 
is too obviously based on Kalidasa to give us any confidence in 
its existence, in anything like the form in which it is pictured, 
though we know that Rajputs long kept up the practice. There 
is also only too much ground for accepting as true to life the 
scene of drunkenness, for the Rajputs have long found delight in 
romping, equivoke, debauchery, and drinking. 

Bilhana, however, is more satisfactory as a poet. He affects 
the Vaidarbha style and avoids long compounds ; his language is 
normally simple and clear, and he does not overdo alliterations 
or plays on words. His masterpiece is admittedly the picture of 
the death of Ahavamalla in Canto iv ; it is a fine piece of simple 
pathos, and the dignity and courage of the dying king are effec- 
tively portrayed. Nor is Bilhana without skill in more elaborate 
effects, as in his plea for poets : 

svecchdbhahgurabhdgyameghataditah ^akyd na roddhim griyah 
prdndndm sataiam praydnapatahagraddHd na vigrdmyati 
trdnam ye Ura yagomaye vapu^i vah knrvanti kdvydmrtais 

tan arddhya gurun vidhatta snkavtn nirgarvant urvigvardh, 

‘ Ye lords of earth, prosperity, the lightning of the cloud of fate 
that moves at its own will, cannot be chained ; ever soundeth the 
drum that doth proclaim the hour of man's departure ; honour, 
therefore, and take as your guides, laying aside all pride, those 
skilled poets whose poems provide the drink of immortality to 
your bodies of fame.* 

he rdjdnas iyajata sukavipretnabaitdhe virodhani 

guddhd kirtih sphurati bhavatdm nunam etatprasdddt 
iu^tair baddham tad alaghn^ Raghusvdminah sac caritram 
kruddhair nitas tribhnvanajayl hdsyantdrgam dagdsyah, 

* O kings, cease to obstruct the true poet’s attachment ; it is to 

' i. 102 f. ; xviii. 93. 

BILHA1;IA i57 

them that is due the refulgence of your pure fame ; by them in 
gratitude was composed the great, the noble tale of Rama, by 
them in anger was Ravana, conqueror of the universe, made 
a laughing-stock.’ The advent of winter is depicted quite 
prettily : 

athajagama hemantah sdmantah smarabhupateh. 

‘ Then came the winter, feudatory of our Lord, Love, himself 
beloved by the crescent moon dear to those aweary of autumn’s 
heat.’ Pretty is the description of Khonamukha, his ancestral 
home : 

briimas tasya praihamavasater adbhntdnam kathdndm 

kith (rlkattthagvaguragikharikrodakildlaldmnah 

eko bhdgah prakrtisubhagam ktihkumaih yasya siite 

drdksdm anyah sarasasarayupnndrakacchedapdndum. 

‘ What shall I sing of that spot, the fountain-head of wonder-tales, 
that shone as a playful embellishment on the crest of the moun- 
tain god, (Jiva’s father-in-law ? One part bears the saffron in its 
natural perfection, the other the grape, pale as a slice of juicy 
sugar-cane from Sarayu’s banks.’ We may suggest that the 
reference to wonder-tales is an effort to ascribe to his native place 
the honour of being the source of works like the Bvhcitkuthdn 
Ahavamalla’s last words are perfect in their elegant simplicity . 

jdndnti karikarndntacancalaih hatajivitam 
Vienna ndnyatna vigvdsah P drvatijlvttegvardt, 
utsange Tnhgabhadrdyds tad esa Qivactntayd 
vdhchdmy ahath nirdkartum dekagrahavidambandm. 

‘ I know that my life, tremulous as the tip of an elephant’s ear, 
is gone ; no other hope have I save in the lord of Parvati s life. 
In the bosom of Tufigabhadra I desire to lay aside this deception 
of human life, my heart set fast on (?iva.’ 

Bilhana’s diction is normally accurate, and for his occasional 
lapses lie can plead precedent. Metrically he is simple; six 
cantos are of Indravajra type, three of Vah9astha, two of Qloka ’ 
and Rathoddhata ; one in Mandakranta, one in Puspitagra, and 

1 He has Vipulas I-III so, lo, and 7 times respectively, and a weak caesnra 
in Sandhi in Vipula HI in iv. 93 (IS. xvii. 444) in 418 half-stanzas. 


one in Svagata. ^ardulavikrldita and Vasantatilaka are not rare 
as change metres; Mafini is occasional, and Aupacchandasika, 
Pj-thvI, QikharinI, Sragdhara, and Harini are just used, while 
• Vaitallya dominates Canto xv. 

4 . Kalhands Life and Times 

Kalhana of Kashmir > is not merely the one great Indian 
chronicler who has come down to us ; but, though we have little 
direct information about him, we can gather from his poems a far 
more definite impression of his personal character than is usual 
with Indian poets ; compared with Kalidasa, who is a mere name, 
the subject of anecdotes clever and stupid, Kalhana stands out 
as a very definite and rather attractive personality. We owe his 
activity as a chronicler in all probability to the internal struggles 
of Kashmir. His father Canpaka, doubtless a Brahmin, was 
a faithful adherent of king Harsa (1089-1101); he remained, 
unlike the average Kashmirian, true to his sovereign in adversity, 
and was on an important mission entrusted to him by the king 
when the latter was assassinated ; the details of the murder are 
known to us because Mukta, one of his servants, was with the 
king at the last, escaping in a manner which the poet fully relates. 
Canpaka seems to have lived long after his master’s death, but 
seemingly he ceased to take active part in political affairs, for 
which, if we accept his loyalty, he can hardly have been well 
fitted, and thus young Kalhana, who may have been born about 
1100, was cut off from the possibility of ministerial office and 
political life. His uncle, Kanaka, was also deeply attached to 
Harsa, who rewarded his complaisance in taking singing lessons 
from the music-loving king by presenting him with a lakh of 
gold coins. He restrained the king in his madness from destroy- 
ing the image of the Buddha at Parihasapura, probably the home 
of Kalhana’s family, and retired to Benares on his patron’s death. 
Like his father, Kalhana was a devotee of Qiva, but though he 
knew and respected the Qaiva9astra, the recondite system of 
Qaiva philosophy for which Kashmir was famous, he seems to 
have had a poor opinion of the devotees of the Tantric rites of 
Qaivism. But he is markedly respectful in his attitude to 

^ M. A, Stein, Kalhana^s Chronicle of KaSmir (1900), and ed. (189-1). 


Buddhism, and approves the practice of non-destruction of life 
(ahihsd) enjoined and enforced by some kings. Buddhism, it is 
clear from his account, had long since accommodated itself to 
Hinduism ; Ksemendra had celebrated the Buddha as an Avatar 
of Visnu, and married monks were known long before Kalhana’s 

Debarred from politics, Kalhana must have conceived the 
idea of rewriting the chronicles of Kashmir, perhaps at the insti- 
gation of Alakadatta, the patron of whom we hear only from the 
Qrlkanthacarita^ of Mankha, who mentions him under his more 
elegant appellation of Kalyana, of which his name is a vernacular 
equivalent. It is clear that he studied deeply the great poems of 
the past, such as the Raghuvanga and Meghaduta of Kalidasa, 
and naturally the Harsacarita of Bana, as a model of romance 
based on a historical kernel. Bilhana he knew well and used his 
work, and Mankha expressly tells us that Kalhana*s style had 
become so polished that it could reflect as in a mirror the whole 
perfection of Bilhana^s muse. But he studied also deeply the 
epics, as his constant references to the heroes of the Mahdbhdrata 
and his familiarity with the Rdmdyana prove. He was naturally 
interested in literary history, and studied the science of astrology, 
as his references to Varahamihira’s Brhatsanihitd attest. 

Contemporary history was stormy and bloody. Harsa*s death 
left his foes Uccala and Sussala to divide the kingdom ; Sussala 
received the territory of Lohara. Uccala had to keep in power 
by playing off one of the turbulent Damaras, a feudal body of 
landholders, against another, Gargacandra of Lahara proving 
his chief support. In 11 ii he was assassinated by a plot of his 
officials, one of whom, Radda, occupied the throne for a day. 
Gargacandra then ruled through a roi fainiant for four months, 
but Sussala patched up friendship with him and became king. 
His reign was one mass of trouble ; the Damaras, when Garga- 
candra was removed by murder, rose under Bhiksacara, a grand- 
son of Harsa who ruled from 11:^0 to 1121, but Sussala regained 
power, and civil war raged until he was murdered in 1128 as the 
result of a plot he had contrived to assassinate his rival. His son 
Jayasihha succeeded and kept the throne, not by his father's 
reckless valour, but by cultivating the feudal grandees and by 

^ XXV. 78-80. 


Machiavellian diplomacy. Bhiksacara was murdered two years 
later, but a new pretender appeared, and, although there was 
peace for a time after 1135, a new trouble arose in 1143, when 
prince Bhoja supported by the Dard tribes rose in revolt. 
Diplomacy at last quelled this outbreak, and in 1149 Kalhana 
began and in the next year finished his great poem. He had 
clearly stood apart from the struggle ; though he wrote under 
Jayasinha, his remarks regarding him are utterly opposed to the 
wholesale panegyric of the normal court poet ; he condemns 
severely the deeds of Sussala, and is equally severe to Lothana 
and Mallarjuna, the earlier pretenders of Jayasinha’s reign. His 
account of Bhiksacara is more favourable, and that this was not 
induced by personal motives is established by the fact that his 
record shows clearly that he and his family gained nothing by the 
brief period of that prince’s power. Bhoja he evidently both 
knew and liked, and much of his information regarding the 
tedious negotiations and manoeuvres which preceded his recon- 
ciliation with the king in 1145 *^^st have been derived from him 
personally, when with the other pretenders he was living in 
amity at Jayasinha’s court. 

Kalhana’s detachment enabled him to envisage dispassionately 
the demerits of his own countrymen, and his testimony is 
abundantly confirmed by history. Fair and false and fickle is a 
perfect description of the Kashmirian as seen by Kalhana. The 
disorderly and cowardly soldiery receives his wholehearted con- 
tempt ; they are prepared to fly at a rumour, and, if a few 
resolute men murder the king, a sauve qiH petit of guards, attend- 
ants, and courtiers follows at once. Fidelity is unknown to the 
vast majority of the court, and Kalhana notes it with special 
care, even when its object is a rebel. Contrasted with this is 
the courage and loyalty of the Rajaputras and other foreign 
mercenaries on whom the kings had largely to rely for serious 
fighting. The city populace is presented as idle, pleasure-loving, 
and utterly callous, acclaiming a king to-day and welcoming 
another to-morrow, and their passions raise disdain in the aristo- 
cratic Brahmin’s mind. Against the Damaras he is extremely 
bitter ; his family had doubtless suffered greatly at the hands of 
these cruel and brutal men, who oppressed the peasants and 
plundered when they could the estates of the officials and the 


Brahmins of the capital ; their boodshness and crudeness, traces 
of their humble origin, are also a source of offence. But he has 
no illusions regarding the official classes ; their greed, peculations, 
oppressions, and disloyalty are frankly exposed. The priests are 
not spared ; Kashmir was cursed then by activities of the Puro- 
hitas, who, in possession of costly endowments, sought by their 
solemn fasts {prdyopavegd), intended to proceed to death if their 
demands were not granted, to influence the progress of events. 
Kalhana ridicules their ignorance of affairs and their arrogance in 
intervention in matters beyond their skill. He is not, however, 
all compact of dislikes ; he mentions appreciatively the minister 
Rilhana and Alarhkara, whom we know from Mankha as a patron 
of poets ; Mankha himself is only mentioned as a minister, not 
as a poet; for Udaya, commander of the frontier defences, he 
seems^ to have had a warm regard, and personal relations are 
obvious both with Bhoja and with Rajavadana, another of the 
pretenders' who attacked Jayasinha. All that we have points, 
therefore, to a mind very busily in contact with reality, observing 
intently the process of current events in lieu of becoming a mere 
book-worm, and endeavouring to find satisfaction for a keen 
intellect in recording the events around him and those of earlier 
days in lieu of the participation in affairs traditional in his family 
and congenial to his tastes. 

5 . The Rdjataranginl and its Sources 

Kalhana tells us himself that he was not the first to seek to 
write a chronicle of the kings of Kashmir from the earliest days; 
it appears that extensive works of ancient date contained the 
royal chronicles, but these had apparently disappeared in his 
time through the energy of one Suvrata in composing a poem 
embodying them, evidently written in the Kavya style, and, there- 
fore, difficult to follow. He consulted also, he says, eleven works 
of former scholars as well as the still extant Nllamatapurdna. 
The polymath Ksemendra had written a Nrpdvali which Kalhana 
censures for want of care, but which probably was a careful sum- 
mary of his sources and, therefore, is a real loss. From Padma- 
mihira Kalhana took eight kings beginning with Lava who come 
first after the gap of thirty-five lost kings in Book I ; Padma- 

tl4f M 


mihira*s source was a certain Pa9upata Helaraja whose work 
must have been extensive but which Kalhana did not know. 
From Chavillakara, whose text he cites, he derived some really 
historical information in the shape of A9oka*s name and his 
devotion to Buddhism. If the other authorities he used carried 
their work from the beginnings to their own times, or were mere 
chronicles of recent events, we do not know. Kalhana probably 
used some writers of this kind, as he emphatically disclaims this 
sort of work as worthy of him, and insists on covering the whole 
history of Kashmir so far as his sources allow. 

But Kalhana used much more original sources to check his 
literary authorities. He tells us that he inspected inscriptions of 
various kinds, those envisaged recording the construction of 
temples, memorials, or palaces, records of land grants or privi- 
leges (usually on copper plates), Pra9astis, eulogies engraved on 
temples and other buildings, and manuscripts of literary works, 
which often record names of rulers and dates. The claim is borne 
out by the precise details of facts as to the foundation of sacred 
edifices, land grants, &c., which abound in his text, and by his 
precise assertions as to literary history, which are of great value. 
He studied also coins and inspected buildings, while he was 
clearly a master of the topography of the valley. Further, he 
used freely local traditions of all kinds, and family records, while 
from his own knowledge and from that of his father and many 
others he culled the minute details which mark his treatment of 
the events of the fifty years preceding the date of his work. 

Kalhana frankly admits that the first fifty-two kings, evidently 
a traditional number, whom he recognizes were not recorded by 
his predecessors as chroniclers ; the first four he took from the 
Ntlamaia^ the next eight from Helaraja frankly come after a gap 
of thirty-five kings, then follow five from Chavillakara. The first 
king Gonanda is of special importance because he is made to 
have come to the throne in the same year 653 of the Kali era in 
which Yudhisthira was crowned, and on this absolutely ground- 
less synchronism is built up the whole fabric of Kalhana's 
chronology. Gonanda is made to attack Krsna in Mathura and 
to be slain by Balabhadra, Krsna's brother. His son Damodara I 
sought to avenge him, but perished, Krsna placing his wife, then 
pregnant, on the throne, so that Gonanda II, his son, was a babe 


who could take no part in the great war. It must be noted that 
in Book III we find Gonanda III virtually treated as the real head 
of the dynasty, nor can we deny that these fabulous kings were 
merely invented by a pious fraud to give Kashmir a place in the 
heroic legends of India. Of the other kings recorded in Book I 
Afoka is given a son Jalauka, elsewhere unknown, and a remi- 
niscence of the Kusanas is seen in the names Huska, Juska, and 
Kaniska, recognized as Buddhists, though their order is exactly 
the reverse of the historical. They were followed by a Brahma- 
nical Abhimanyu, who is stated to have favoured the study of 
the Mahdbhdsya, but whose historical character is unverifiable. 
Under him a pious Brahmin with the aid of Nilanaga purifies 
Kashmir from Buddhist contagion and saves the land from snow, 
the tale being a mere richauffi of the legend of the Nllamata 
which makes Pi^acas the sinners. The line of Gonanda kings 
after Gonanda III has little appearance of authenticity, and in 
Book II we find a new line of kings, unconnected with the old, 
and apparently with no claims to historicity. Book III gives 
the history of the restored Gonanda dynasty under Meghavahana. 
In the new list Matrgupta’s short reign figures, and possibly in 
him and his patron Vikramaditya Harsa we have a reference to 
Qiladitya^ of Malava, giving us a date in the sixth century. As 
a member of the Gonanda line figures Toramana, who can hardly 
be other than the Huna king of that name, and it is not enough 
to discount the fact that his father Mihirakula is given at a date 
700 years earlier, for Kalhana recognizes a reign of 300 years for 
Ranaditya, who was the third last king of the dynasty and whose 
date would fall in quite historical times. A romantic tale ends 
the dynasty ; the last king, Baladitya, in order to avoid the 
fulfilment of a prophecy that his son-in-law would succeed him, 
married his daughter to a minor official Durlabhavardhana, but 
the son-in-law became a favourite of the king, and, having the 
wisdom if not the honour to pardon the minister Khankha for an 
intrigue with his wife, was on the king's death elevated to the 
throne as first of the Karkota dynasty, the name being explained 
as due to the fact that he was really the son of a Naga Karkota. 
With this dynasty in Book IV we approach historical reality in 

' Cf. EHI. p. 344. 
M % 

i64 historical KAVYA 

the seventh century A.D., as Durlabhavardhana may have been 
the king who ruled contemporaneously with the Chinese pilgrim 
Hiuen Tsang. The first date in the Laukika era of Kashmir 
(3076-5 B,c.) is given in the case of Cippata Jayapida or Brhas- 
pati, whom he assigns to A.D. 801-13, but this can definitely be 
proved wrong from the fact that the poet Ratnakara, author of 
the Haravijaya^ distinctly tells us that he wrote under the 
patronage of that prince, while Kalhana assures us that he was 
prominent under Avantivarman, who certainly began to reign in 
855. There is clearly an error of at least twenty-five or even 
fifty years. The dynasty ended in usurpation by Avantivarman, 
son of Sukhavarman and grandson of Utpala, an able man of 
humble origin who had become virtual ruler of the realm. 
With Avantivarman we are in the full light of history ; Book V 
carries the dynasty down to 939, and Book VI completes it to the 
death of queen Didda in 1003 and the peaceful accession of her 
nephew, the first prince of the Lohara dynasty. Book VII ends 
with the tragedy of the death of Harsa, and Book VIII deals at 
great length (3449 stanzas) with the events of the half-century 
from the accession of Uccala. One curious omission of impor- 
tance can be proved ; Kalhana records in an interesting manner 
the aid sent vainly under Tunga to the Qahi king Trilocanapala 
in his effort to stay the Mahomedan invasion under Mahmud 
Ghazni, the Hammira of the Indian texts ; but he does not 
mention the actual onslaught about 1015 of the Mahomedan 
forces directed against Kashmir, which was stayed by the resolute 
resistance of the castle of Lohara, and as a result of the narrow 
outlook of the people of Kashmir in their inaccessible valley he 
appreciates hardly at all the significance of the new storm burst- 
ing over India. 

6 . Kalhana as a Historian 

To understand Kalhana's outlook on history we must not, of 
course, think of Thucydides or Polybios ; we must, as has been 
well said, remember that, with these great works before them, 
Roman opinion was still content to see in history the opportunity 
for displaying command of rhetoric and of inculcating moral 
maxims. Kalhana’s aim is to produce a work which shall con- 


form to the demands not of rhetoricians— of whom India had 
none— but of writers on poetics, and at the same time to impress 
on his readers moral maxims. The first of his aims he frankly 
admits at the outset : ‘ Worthy of praise is the strange power of 
true poets which surpasses in value even the drink of immortality, 
since by it not only their own bodies of glory, but also those of 
others, are sustained. It is the creative genius of the poet alone 
which by its power of the production of beauty can place past 
times before the eye of men.' He admits ' the difficulty which 
he has to face ; the amplitude of his task forbids the development 
of attractive variety (vaicitryd)^ which means that, having so much 
to narrate, he could not follow Bharavi and Magha in filling up 
his poem with descriptions of the poet's stock-in-trade. There 
are indeed digressions but modest in kind, and it is only in them 
that we find the constant occurrence of the ornaments which mark 
the true poetic style. Nothing, however, shows his self-imposed 
moderation better than comparison with Bana's Harsacarita or 
Bilhana's poem. 

The influence of the epic combines with that of poetics to pro- 
duce the second mark of Kalhana's chronicle, its didactic tendency. 
Poetics requires that each poem should have a dominant sentiment, 
and that of the Rdjaiarahgim is resignation ; ^ it is definitely so 
asserted, and based on the impression produced on the mind by 
the sudden appearance of human beings who last for a moment 
alone. It is reinforced by insistence on the tales of kings who by 
renunciation or otherwise come to a pathetic end, and Books I-III 
and VII are deliberately brought to a close with the occurrence of 
such episodes. Stress is ever laid on the impermanence of power 
and riches, the transient character of all earthly fame and glory, 
and the retribution which reaches doers of evil in this or a future 
life ; the deeds of kings and ministers are reviewed and censured 
or commended by the rules of the Dharma^astra or Nlti9astra, 
but always with a distinct moral bias. In this we certainly see 
the influence of the Mahabhdrata in its vast didactic portions and 
its general tendency to inculcate morality, but we cannot say 
whether it was original in Kalhana or had already been noted in 
the works of one or more of his predecessors. 

Kalhana, therefore, makes no claim to be a scientific investigator, 
^ i. 6. * i. 23. 


and in complete harmony with this tells us nothing of the diver- 
gences in his authorities. It is, in fact, clear that down to the 
middle of the ninth century with the advent of the Utpala 
dynasty he had no trustworthy materials to go upon. But, in 
lieu of sifting what he had and confessing his ignorance, he chose 
instead to patch up a continuous narrative. The results have 
already been seen ; his chronology for the older period is hope- 
lessly absurd and Kalhana is quite unable to recognize the ab- 
surdity. Moreover, he is exactly on the same level as his average 
fellow-countryman in his attitude to heroic legend and to fact ; 
he accepts without hesitation the ancient legends of the epic as 
just as real as things of his day ; some sceptics went so far as to 
doubt the magic feats of Meghavahana and other kings, but Kal- 
hana will have none of them ; ^ indeed he takes occasion, when 
recounting the acts done by Harsa in his madness, to observe 
that future generations may on that account doubt their truth as 
they do the tales of Meghavahana, apparently wholly unconscious 
of the vast difference in the character of the two kinds of stories. 
Inevitably, too, Kalhana s outlook was dimmed by the narrow 
limits of his home and its isolation ; hence we do not find in him 
any real appreciation of the relations of Kashmir to the outer 
world ; the invasions of the Kusanas and Hunas are confused and 
misunderstood. A further Kashmirian trait reveals itself through- 
out his work ; the land was known to Marco Polo ^ as famous for 
sorcery and ‘ devilries of enchantment’, and Kalhana quite cheer- 
fully accepts witchcraft as a legitimate cause of deaths ; we may 
remember the Roman ^ and medieval acceptance of poison as 
a natural cause of the dooms of princes. The deplorable chrono- 
logy was doubtless not invented by Kalhana, but he took it over 
and never realized its flagrant absurdities and its ludicrously long 
reigns, though contemporary experience would have shown how 
absurd they were. * 

We must, however, realize that Kalhana was completely under 
the dominion of Indian views of life, which rendered doubt on 

' vii. 1137 (T. 

2 Yule, i. 175 ; cf. Buhler, Report^ p. 24. 

3 So the Ar/hafifs/ra seriously commends this expedient against foes. 

* e. g. Tacitus, Ann.^ iii. 17; Pliny, lLN*y xxix. ao ; Mayor on Juvenal, xiv. 


such topics idle. The current theory of the ages of the world 
told him that he was living in the Kali age, when things were far 
declined from their ancient glory ; it was, then, idle to mete the 
past by the present. Again, to seek for rational explanations of 
human action by merely stressing the motives of the present day 
would be idle, for man’s deeds are the outcome of ancient acts, 
looming up from a forgotten past which may at any time bring 
forth deeds incalculable and utterly at variance with the character 
of their performer. Yet fate ranks also as a cause of action, nor 
does Kalhana take care to show that it can be reconciled with 
the doctrine of Karman. It is fate* which drives Harsa at the 
close of his life to disregard wisdom and policy, though it is clear 
from the poet’s own account that the unhappy prince was a mad- 
man. Fate again is blamed for the ingratitude shown by reci- 
pients of the royal favour. But if all these explanations fail to 
satisfy Indian credulity avails, for it admits possession by demons, 
and Kalhana actually himself ascribes to this cause an obvious 
political murder. He accepts also the power of the man who 
starves himself to death to bring about terrible effects, though he 
hated the Brahmanical employment of this device to influence 
royal policy. The desecration of shrines naturally evokes the 
wrath of the gods, and Harsa and Sussala pay for their evil acts 
by death. The anger of Nagas, spirits of Kashmir’s springs, is 
specially frequent and deadly, while omens and portents are 
accepted as of unquestionable validity. We need not wonder, 
therefore, when we find Kalhana solemnly recording and believ- 
ing in the resurrection by witches of Sandhimati, impaled by his 
jealous king, and his attainment of the royal power. 

We are in a more normal world when we find Kalhana con- 
cerned to prove to us that evil deeds meet retribution, by an 
enumeration of the cases in which the avarice of kings resulted 
in the alienation of their subjects, though as a true Brahmin he 
admits that the use made of evil gains may sanetTy the means, as 
when they are bestowed on Brahmins. But beyond this Kalhana 
does not advance to any philosophy of history ; he only exercises 
a criticism of individual actions on the basis of established rules 
of the Qastras. Thus Kamalavardhana’s folly in seeking to 
attain by diplomacy what could only be won by the sword is 
‘ vii. 1455(1. ’ viii. 1141. ® v. 183(1., ao8f. 


shrewdly commented on,^ and Jayasihha’s fiasco in the Ki^n- 
ganga valley is explained ^ as due to the folly of attack without 
adequate information, and undue deliberation in the face of the 
foe. His own contribution to an art of governing Kashmir is 
placed in the mouth of Lalitaditya® and is very much in the 
spirit of the Kauttllya Arthagdstra, but with the great advantage 
of reference to particular conditions, as is indicated by the 
distinctly Kashmirian flavour of the advice given. The border 
tribes are never to be left in peace, even if they give no offence, 
lest they acquire wealth and plunder the country. The peasants 
are not to be allowed to keep more than one years consumption 
of grain or more oxen than essential for working their land. The 
maxim is clearly aimed at the Damaras, whose exactions from 
the peasants were the source of the turbulence which plagued the 
country and won them from the poet the sobriquet of robbers 
(dasyus). Border forts are to be guarded securely, and high 
offices are to be shared among the great families, so as to prevent 
ill feeling and conspiracies ; above all, no faith is to be put in the 
loyalty of the changeable and untrustworthy people. 

We need not doubt that Kalhana endeavoured to attain his 
own ideal — * that noble-minded poet alone merits praise whose 
word, like the sentence of a judge, keeps free from love or hatred 
in recording the past. His treatment of Harsa supports this 
impression, for his father had been a trusted minister and evidently 
fell with his patron, but Kalhana does not ignore the appalling 
cruelties of this Indian Nero, however much he pities his end. 
His description of incidents in recent history appears to achieve 
a high standard of accuracy, and is filled with those small touches 
which imply personal knowledge or acceptance of the testimony 
of eye-witnesses, as when he recounts the details of the self- 
iminolation of Suryamatl or of Sussala’s murder.* The popular 
sayings and anecdotes which he records bear the stamp of being 
taken from life. Excellent also is his delineation of character, 
and the change from the manner of the earlier to that of the 
later books is significant. The former give but the typical 
poetical description of heroes such as Tunjina and Pravarasena, 
the latter present vivid personalities such as Tunga, Ananta, 

* V. 456 flf. t viii. 3521 ff. * iv. 344 flf. 

* vii. 463 ff. ; viil 1 387 flf. 


Harsa and Sussala ; there is nothing like this in Bana, Padma- 
^ gupta, or Bilhana. In the minor figures his humour, sometimes 
Rabelaisian, has full play, as in his picture of his contemporary 
Kularaja, whose abilities had raised him from the rank of a bravo 
to that of city prefect. His accuracy in genealogical information 
is conspicuous, and his topography most favourably distinguishes 
him from such a historian as Livy, who apparently never looked 
at one of the battlefields he described. 

7 . Kalhands Style 

We need not regret that Kalhana was not permitted by his 
subject to indulge in the Kavya style of description ; we have 
sufficient examples of it in such pictures as that of Yudhisthira's 
departure into exile and Sussala’s entry into the capital to realize 
that we have lost nothing of value in being spared more of these 
stereotyped and colourless imitations.^ Much, indeed, of the rest 
of the poem is mere versified prose, comparable, but for the 
beauty of the language itself, to medieval chronicles, but the 
true poetic power of the author is revealed in many episodes. 
The account of Bhoja^s terrible journey over the snow* clad 
mountains in A.D. 1 144 to the Dards,^ the funeral of Ananta and 
Suryamatfs Satl, the dialogue between the Brahmins whom he 
has injured and Jayapida who is to perish by their curse, above 
all, the tragic tale of Harsa*s isolation and misery, redeemed from 
sordidness by the courage of his last defence and the magna- 
nimity which spared the life of one of his murderers, are all con- 
clusive instances of Kalhana^s power of simple, yet deeply affecting 
narrative. The use of dialogues or set speeches lends not merely 
variety but dramatic power ; thus Uccala is made to expound 
his claim to the throne and Harsa to defend his political conduct.^ 
Or the situation is brought vividly before us, as in the dialogue of 
Ananta and Suryamatl before her suicide ; or the feelings of the 
bystanders, as in the comments of the soldiers and the Damaras 
on Bhiksacara's fall.^ On the other hand must be set an un- 
questionable obscurity, arising in part from the metaphorical 

* CC i. 368 ff. ; V. 341 ff. ; viii. 947 ff. ; 1744 He imitates Bana rather freely. 

* viii. 3710-14. Stein compares Clandian, Getico^ 340 ff. 

* vii. ia8i ft, 1416 ff. * vii. 4a3ff. ; 170411., 1735(1. 


expressions which take the place of plain statements of fact, in 
part from the poet's indifference to the ignorance of posterity of 
the exact conditions of Kashmir in his own day. This leads him 
to assume our knowledge of situations which, therefore, are 
referred to in terms conveying now no clear impression, and to 
the use of words in technical senses without any explanation, as 
kampana^2ixmy , command in chief ; dvdra, frontier watch station, 
command of the frontiers ; pdddgra^ high revenue office ; and 
parsad, corporation of Purohitas. Another source of trouble is 
the use of varying forms of the same name, as Losthaka, Lothaka, 
and Lothana, and the mention of individuals either by the title of 
their office, or by the title of an office no longer held. 

Kalhana is fond of diversifying the flow of the narrative by 
ingenious similes, by antitheses, by occasional plays on words, 
and by the expedient of varying the simplicity of the Qloka 
metre by interposing more ornate stanzas of moral or didactic 
content, in which the language is more intricate, but often grace- 
ful and elegant, while the ideas, if not original, are not rarely 
just and weighty. The value of poetry strikes him forcibly and 
happily in : 

bhujatartivanacchdydm yesdni nisevya mahaujasdm 
jaladhiragand mediny dsid asdv akutobhayd 
smrtim api na te ydnti ksmdpd vvtd yadanugraham 

prakrtimahate kurmas tasmai fiatnah kavikarmane, 

‘ Homage we pay to the innate wonder of the poet's art, without 
whose favour are forgotten even those mighty kings in the 
shadow of whose strong arms the earth, girdled by the ocean, lay 
secure as under the forest trees.’ Or in different form : 

ye 'py dsann ibhakumbhagdyitapadd ye 'pi griyaih lebhire 
yesdni apy avasan purd yiivatayo gehesv ahagcandrikah 
tdhl loko 'yam avaiti lokatilakdn svapue py ajatdn iva 

bhrdtah satkavikrtya kim stuiigatair andhaih jagat tvdni 

' Without thee, o brother, the craft of true poets, the world 
would not even dream of those ornaments of the world who 
rested their feet on the foreheads of elephants, who attained 
riches, and in whose halls dwelt maidens, moons of the day; 


without thee, I say, this world is blind ; not hundreds of eulogies 
could extol thee becomingly.* The evil deeds of Tarapida ended 
in his attacking Brahmins and death : 

yo yam jandpakaranaya srjaty updyam : ienaiva tasya niyamena 
bhaved vmd(ah 

dhumamprasauti nayanandhyakaram yam agnir : bhutvdmbudah 
sa gamayet salilais tam eva. 

* The man who devises a plot shall assuredly perish thereby ; the 
smoke that the fire sends up to blind the eyes, turning into 
a cloud, quenches with its water the fire itself.’ The goddess 
BhramaravasinI, whose shrine was guarded by bees, who reduced 
to bones the mortal who sought it, appears in lovely form : 

bhdsvadbimbddhard krsnakegi sitakardnand 
harimadhyd givdkdrd sarvadevamaylva sd, 

' Her lip was red as the Bimba, black her hair, moonlike her face, 
lionlike her waist, gracious her aspect : so seemed she to unite all 
the gods in one.’ Here the epithets suggest the gods Surya, 
Krsna, Soma, Hari, and ^iva. A biting attack on women’s con- 
duct as opposed to their beauty runs : 

avakdgah suvrttdndm hrdaye 'ntar na yositdm 
itiva vidadhe dhdtd suvrttan tadbahih kite an, 

‘ Since in women’s hearts there is no room for good conduct, the 
creator in his mercy hath guarded them with their rounded 
breasts.’ The wise king recognized the transitory character of 
prosperity : 

gobhujdm vallabhd laksmlr mdtahgoisahgaldlitd 
seyaih sprhdm samiitpddya dusayaty unnatdtmanah, 

‘ Fortune, the beloved of kings, who dallies on the back of her 
elephant (in the arms of one of low degree) creates eager desires 
and brings to ruin the man of high mind.’ The flatterers of 
kings are effectively denounced : 

karne tat kathayanti dundubhiravai rdstre yad udghositam 

tan namrdhgatayd vadanti karnnam yasmdt trapdvdn 

gldghante yad udiryate Windpy ngram na marmdntakrd 

ye ke cm nanu gdthyamaugdhyanidhayas te bhubhrtdm 


‘ They whisper in his ear what is proclaimed in the town with 
beat of drum ; with body bent, dolorously they tell what makes • 
him ashamed ; boastfully they say cruel things, cutting to the 
quick, such as no foe would say ; whoever are embodiments of 
falsity and foolishness, they are the flatterers of princes/ 

8 . Minor Historical Kavya 

India has nothing comparable to set beside the work of 
Kalhana, and a brief mention is all that the remaining epics 
deserve. Another Kashmirian, Jalhana, mentioned by Mankha as 
a member of the Sabha of Alarhkara, wrote an account of the 
life of the king of Rajapuri, Somapalavilasa, who was conquered 
by Sussala, in his Sotnapdlavildsa} The virtuous but extremely 
dreary Jain monk Hemacandra (1088-1172) wrote while the 
Caulukya king of Anhilvad, Kumarapala, was still alive and at 
the height of his fame, about 1163 his Ktimdrapdlacarita^ or 
Dvydgrayakdvya in his honour. The poem owes its second name 
to the fact that it consists of two parts, one of twenty cantos in 
Sanskrit and one of eight in Prakrit, and it has, besides its 
historical, a definitely grammatical purpose, being intended to 
afford illustrations of the rules of Sanskrit and Prakrit grammar 
taught in his own grammar. The poem, of course, includes 
some account of the predecessors of his hero, and it has a distinct 
value for the history of the Caulukyas. But Hemacandra was an 
earnest Jain ; he saw things distorted by his devotion to his 
religion, of which he was a zealous propagandist. His success 
in this regard is proved by the fact that the cantos (xvi-xx) of 
the poem celebrating Kiimarapala^s rule seem to be true to fact, 
in substance at any rate, in representing the king as a loyal 
follower of the principles of Jainism who forbade the slaughter 
of animals under the severest penalty, erected freely Jain temples, 
and pursued a definitely pro-Jain policy. 

Fate unfortunately has left only one fragmentary and defective 
manuscript of a poem of some historical interest, the Prthvlrd- 
javijayap an account of the victories of the Cahamana king ot 

' Cf. Rdjatarangiftij viii. 631 f. 

* Ed. BSS. 60, 69, 76, 1900-31 ; Buhler, Hemachandra, pp. 18 f., 43. 

• Har Bilas Sarda, JRAS. 19131 pp. *69 1914-23. 


Ajmir and Delhi, Prthviraja, who won a great victory over Sultan 
Shihab-ud-din Ghori in irgi, though he was shortly afterwards 
ruined and slain. The poem seems to have been written in the 
lifetime of the king probably just after that victory, though as it 
is unfinished this is a mere conjecture. The name of the author 
is unknown, but he may have been a Kashmirian, as is suggested 
by his imitation of Bilhana’s style; his form of exordium, in 
which he mentions Bhasa ; and the fact that he is mentioned by 
Jayarath in the Alamkdravimargini {c, 1200), and is commented 
on by Jonaraja {c. 1448) of Kashmir. 

A minister of the princes of Gujarat, the Vaghelas, Lavana- 
prasada and Viradhavala, is responsible for the writing of two 
panegyrics. The first is the Klrtikaumudi ' of Some9varadatta 
(1179-1262), author of various inscriptions in which verses from 
his poem occur ; the eulogy of Vastupala, who was clearly a 
generous man, and very probably an excellent minister of a type 
well known in Indian history, is of moderate poetic worth, but it 
throws a good deal of light on various aspects of Indian social 
and political life. The Surathotsava^ in fifteen cantos by the same 
author is on the face of it mythical, but it is possible that it is 
a political allegory, as it ends with an account of the poet’s own 
history, a phenomenon which is noteworthy in the Har^acarita 
of Bana and in Bilhana, and it alludes again to Vastupala. A 
direct panegyric is the Sukrtasamkirtana ^ of Arisinha, also of 
the thirteenth century, in eleven cantos, which is useful historically 
as affording a check on Some9varadeva. It is not until a century 
later that we have in the Jagaducarita ^ of Sarvananda a pane- 
gyric of a pious Jain layman who aided his townsfolk by building 
new walls and affording them great support in the terrible famine 
of 1256-8 in Gujarat. It is interesting to find in this poem of 
seven cantos the usual miracles and legends told in respect of 
a simple merchant, but as poetry the work is worthless, and in 
language and metre alike it is no better than the contemporary 
Jain verse legends. 

Of some importance as giving details of historical events else- 

' Ed. A. V. Kathvate, BSS. 35, 1883. 

* Ed. KM. 73, 1903. 

* G. BUhlcr, Das Sukrtasamkirtana des Arisimha (1889). 

* G. Biihler, Indian Studies, i (1893). 


where more v^uely recorded is the Ramapalacarita ^ of Sandhya- 
kara Nandin, who described the feats of the powerful king 
Ramapala of Bengal, who recovered his ancestral throne from an 
usurper, Bhima, and conquered Mithila, reigning c, 1084-1130. 
The Rajendrakampura ^ of fambhu is a panegyric of Harsadeva 
of Kashmir at whose court he wrote the Anyoktimuktalatd^ataka, 
The poem is of no great merit. 

Finally there may be noted the work of the Kashmir writers 
who continued the Rdjatarahgini? Jonaraja, who died in 1459, 
carried it on under the same style to the reign of Sultan Zainu-l- 
‘abidin ; his pupil Qrivara covered in the Jaina-Rdjatarahginl in 
four books the period 1459-86, while Pr%a Bhattaand his pupil 
f uka in the Rdjmlipatdkd carried on the tale to some years after 
the annexation of Kashmir by Akbar. The work of these 
writers is devoid of originality or merit ; f rivara shamelessly 
borrows from Kalhana, and, despite the length of the period with 
which they deal, the total of their work is not more than half that 
of the Rdjatarahgini ; they waste space in episodic descriptions, 
and they are far less accurate in matters of topography than 

• Ed. Haraprasada Sastri, A.S.B, Mmoirs, III, i (1910). Cf. El. ix. 321; 
EHI. p. 416; above, p, 137. 

‘ Ed. KM. i. 22 ff. 

’ Ed. Calcutta, 1835 ; Biibler, Riporl, p. 61 ; Stein, Rdjatmhgm, ii. 373. 



I. BhartrJiari 

A HISTORY of Sanskrit lyric ^ and gnomic verse is impos- 
sible in the absence of any chronology, and, apart from 
minor poems which will be discussed later, our first great 
monument after Kalidasa of these kinds of verse, in which Indian 
poets admittedly excel, is to be found in the patakas of 
Bhartrhari. As we have them, they are handed down as three 
collections each theoretically of a hundred stanzas, in varied 
metres, of pictures of love, ^rhgdragataka, of indifference to 
things of sense, Vairagya, and of wise conduct, Niii. It is 
obvious that a form like this allows of interpolation and addition, 
and the task of arriving at a definitive text which we can 
reasonably assert to be original is probably beyond our means of 
accomplishment. What we can say is that for a considerable 
number of stanzas in each of the Qatakas the concurrence of 
manuscript evidence renders reference to the original extremely 
probable. A perplexing fact is that the collections contain 
stanzas from well-known works such as the Tantrdkhdyika, the 
^ahmtald of Kalidasa, the Mudrdrdksasa of Vi^akhadatta, and 
stanzas which in the anthologies are ascribed to authors other 
than Bhartrhari. If the anthologies were trustworthy, it would 
be possible to deduce important results from these facts, but, as 
they are full of errors and frequently contradict themselves, it is 
hopeless to draw any chronological conclusions or to derive 
from these references or the stanzas from other works actually 
included any support for the theory that the collections are 
really an early anthology.^ 

Indian tradition, none of it early, unquestionably sets down 

* Cf. P. E. Pavolini, Poeti (T amort neir India (Florence, 1900). 

* Cf. Peterson, Subkdsitavali, pp. 74 f. ; kwixtdtA, Leif tig Catal., No. 417 ; Hertel, 
WZKM. xvi. J 03 ff. ; Pathak, JBRAS. xviii. 348. 


the Qatakas as the work of one man, and does not consider them 
anthologies. Of this man unfortunately no clear memory 
remained, but, as this applies equally even to Kalidasa, the only 
conclusion which can be drawn is that like that writer he 
belonged to a fairly early date, before authors became sufficiently 
self-conscious to ensure the handing down of their memory by 
embodying references to themselves in their poems. But we do 
learn from the Buddhist pilgrim I-tsing that about forty years 
before he wrote, therefore about 651, there died in India a gram- 
marian, Bhartrhari, certainly the author of the V akyapadiya^ the 
last independent contribution to Indian grammatical science. Of 
him I-tsing^ tells the tale that he ever wavered between the 
monastic and the lay life, moving seven times between the 
cloister and the world in the manner permitted to Buddhists. 
On one occasion, when entering the monastery, he bade a student 
have a chariot ready for him without, that he might depart in it 
if worldly longings overcame his hard-won resolution. I-tsing 
also cites a verse in which Bhartrhari reproaches himself for his 
inability to decide between the attractions of the two lives. It is 
natural, therefore, to accept the suggestion of Max Muller ^ that 
we have here a reference to the author of the Qatakas, though it 
is certain that I-tsing does not actually refer to them, for the 
vague terms in which he alludes to his writing on the principles 
of human life cannot well be treated as a real allusion to the 
Qatakas. It is also clear that Bhartrhari in the Qatakas is not 
a Buddhist, though he, like Buddhists, arrives at counsels of 
freedom from desire and resignation, but a Qaiva of the Vedanta 
type, to whom Qiva appears as the most perfect presentation of 
the final reality, the Brahman. We may, of course, suppose that 
Bhartrhari was once a courtier — as his reflections on the miseries 
of serving the great attest— and a (^aiva, and that in old age he 
became a Buddhist, and that I-tsing either did not learn of his 
Qatakas or deliberately ignored them. Or he may even have 
composed the Qatakas after his investigation of Buddhism had 
decided him upon abandoning that faith ; such a fact I-tsing 
. would not record with any pleasure, even if he knew of it. Or, if 

^ Records of the Buddhist Religion^ pp. 178 ff. ; cf. Ertn. La Terza, OC. Xil, i. 
aoi f. 

* India (1883), pp. 347 ff. 



he were a mere compiler, the difficulty would disappear. It must, 
however, be said that it is not probable that we are to explain 
the notices as a confusion on the part of I-tsing of two Bhartrharis, 
one older, the poet, and the grammarian, for it has been shown 
by very substantial evidence^ that Bhartrhari the grammarian 
was actually a Buddhist, a fact which explains in large measure 
the neglect accorded to his work. On the whole it seems most 
probable that Max Muller’s conjecture may stand. 

The question of compilation is more difficult still, and it seems 
unnecessary to exclude the probability that in his collections 
Bhartrhari may have included work not his own, as well as 
verses composed by himself. Indeed, it would be difficult to find 
any convincing ground for suggesting that this is not the case 
with the Niti and Vairdgya (patakas?' The case of the (^rhgdra^ 
gataka ^ is different, for unquestionably there is a definite structure 
which may be, of course, the work of a skilled compiler, but 
which more naturally suggests the product of a creative mind. 
The Qataka opens with pictures of the beauty of women and the 
passion of love as it varies with the changing seasons of the year, 
and the joys of its fruition. We pass thence to stanzas in which 
the joys of dalliance are contrasted with the abiding peace 
brought to man by penance and wisdom, and finally the poet 
reaches the conviction that beauty is a delusion and a snare, that 
woman is sweet but poisonous as a snake on man’s way in life, 
that love leads only to worldly attachment, and that the true 
end of man lies in renunciation and in God, ^iva or Brahman. 
We may, therefore, adopt with moderate certainty the view that 
in this Qataka we have much more individual work than in the 
other two, though we need not suppose that Bhartrhari held any 
views — quite foreign to Indian poets — which would have pre- 
vented him from including in his poem a predecessor’s work, and 
still less, of course, a slightly improved edition of such work. 
Some weight must certainly be allowed to the fact that the 
Indian tradition is consistent, and that it cannot be explained as 
in the case of the Cdnakya Nitigdstra by the fame of a name, for 
Bhartrhari stands isolated. 

' Pathak, JBRAS. xviii. 341 ff. 

a Ed. K. T. Telang, BSS. 1 1 , 1885. 

* Ed. P. von Bohlen, Berlin, 1833; NSP. 1914. Cf. Winternitz, GIL. iii. 139 f. 

S149 N 


Nothing for history or chronology can be derived from the 
legends which make him out to have been a brother of the famed 
Vikraniaditya, and the attempted identification of him with 
Bhatti, author of the Bhattikavya^ has no plausibility. 

Bhartrhari’s poetry exhibits Sanskrit to the best advantage. 
The epics unquestionably lack life and action, their characters 
are stereotyped, and their descriptions, admirable in detail, tend 
to be over-elaborate and to lose force by this very fact. In 
Bhartrhari each stanza normally can stand by itself and serves to 
express one idea, be it a sentiment of love, of resignation, or of 
policy, in complete and daintily finished form. The extraordinary 
power of compression which Sanskrit possesses is seen here at its 
best ; the effect on the mind is that of a perfect whole in which 
the parts coalesce by inner necessity, and the impression thus 
created on the mind cannot be reproduced in an analytical 
speech like 1-nglish, in which it is necessary to convey the same 
content, not in a single sentence syntactically merged into 
a whole, like the idea which it expresses, but in a series of 
loosely connected predications. The effect which the best stanzas 
of the lyric and gnomic poets achieve is essentially synthetic, as 
opposed to the analytic methods of modern poetry, and it follows 
inevitably that a series of stanzas of this kind is too heavy 
a burden for the mind ; considered, however, each in itself, as 
they should be, these stanzas, like those of the Greek anthology,^ 
present us with an almost infinite number of brilliant poems in 
miniature, on which it would often be hard to improve. It must 
be remembered that the use of the longer metres gives a Sanskrit 
poet the opportunity of compressing into a single stanza material 
sufficient to fill a compact English sonnet, so that there is no 
need to restrict within too narrow limits either the thought or 
the expression. 

Bhartrhari speaks in many tones ; his picture of the magnani- 
mous man is : 

vipadi dhairyam athabhyudaye ksanid : sadasi vdkpatutd 
yiidhi vikramah 

yagasi cdbhirucir vyasanam gruiati: prakrtisiddham idam 
hi inahdtmandm. 

* Cf. J. \V. Mackail, Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology (1906). 


'Constancy in misfortune, gentleness in prosperity, in the council- 
chamber eloquence, in battle valour, delight in glory, love of 
holy writ : these are innate in the noble man/ His picture of the 
stages of life is impressive : 

ayur varsagatam nrndm rdtrau tadardham gatam 
tasydrdkasya parasya cdrdham aparam balatvavrddhatvayoJi 
gesam vyddhiviyogaduhkhasahitam sevddibhir niyate 
jive vdritarahgabudbudasame satikhyam kutali prdnindm ? 

' To man is allotted a span of a hundred years ; half of that 
passes in sleep ; of the other half, one-half is spent in childhood 
and old age; the rest is passed in service with illness, separation, 
and pain as companions. How can mortals find joy in life that 
is like the bubbles on the waves of the sea ? ' The acts of man’s 
life are finely depicted in a manner in its own way as finished as 
Shakespeare’s : 

ksanam bdlo bhutvd k^anam api yuvd kdniarasikah 

ksananuvittair hinah ksanam api ca sampurnavibhavah 
jardjlrnair ahgair 7tata iva vallmanditatanur 
narah saihsdrdnie vigati yamadhdnlyavanikdm. 

‘ For a moment man is a boy, for a moment a lovesick youth, 
for a moment bereft of wealth, for a moment in the height of 
prosperity ; then at life’s end with limbs worn out by old age 
and wrinkles adorning his face, like an actor, he retires behind 
the curtain of death.’ The utter unsatisfactoriness of life is 
insisted upon : 

dkrdntam maranena ja^ima jarasd ydty iittamavi yauvaiia^n 
samtoso dhajtalipsayd gamasukham pratidhdhgandvibhramaih 
lokair matsaribhir gtmd vanabhnvo vydlair nrpd dnrjanair 
asthairyena vibhutayo py upahatd grastani na kim kena vd ? 

‘By death is life assailed'; by old age the delight of youth 
departeth, by greed contentment, the calm of inner joy through 
the coquetries of forward ladies ; envy attacks our virtues, snakes 
trees, villains kings ; all power is transient. What is there that 
another doth not overwhelm or it another ? ’ The might of time 
to obliterate all is sadly recognized : 

N 2 

sd ramyd nagari mahdn sa nrpatih samantacakram ca tat 
pdrgve tasya ca sd vidagdhaparisat tdg candrabimbdnandh 
udvrttah sa ca rdjaputranivahas te bandinas tdh kathdh 

sarvam yasya vagdd agdt sntrtipatham kdldya tasmai namak, 

‘ That fair city, that mighty king, the circle of vassal princes at 
his side, that assembly of learned men, those maidens with faces 
like the moon or the Bimba, that haughty ring of princes of the 
blood, those minstrels and their ballads — all are but memories, 
and to time, who hath wrought this deed, let. us pay homage 
due/ Yet men are blind to the fate that awaits them : 

ddityasya gatdgatair aharahah samkslyate jlvitam 
vydpdrair bahukdryabhdragurtibhth kdlo na vijhdyate 
drstvd janmajardvipattimaranam trdsag ca notpadyate 
pltvd mohamaylm pramadamadirdm unmattabhutam jagat, 

‘ With the rising and the setting of the sun man's life day by day 
wears away ; struggling beneath the burden of active toil we note 
not the passing of time ; birth, age, misfortune, death we see and 
tremble not ; the world is maddened by drinking too deep of the 
draught of carelessness and confusion/ The ascetic's life is com- 
pared with that of the king greatly to its advantage, and a touch 
of quiet humour enlightens the picture of the old age for which 
the poet pines : 

Gahgdtlre himagirigildhaddhapadmdsanasya 

brahmadhydnabhyasanavidhina yoganidrdm gatasya 
kirn tair bhdiyam mama sudivasair yesn te nirvigahkdh 
kanduyante jatharaharindh grhgam ahge madtye, 

‘When will those days come when I can take my seat on 
Ganges' bank on a rock of the snowy mountain, and fixing my 
thoughts for ever on Brahman fall into the deep sleep of con- 
templation, while the old deer fearlessly rub their horns on my 
limbs ? ' The end is union and merger in the highest spirit, the 
absolute : 

mdtar medini tdta mdruta sakhe jyotih subandho jala 

bhrdtar vyoma nibaddha esa bhavatdm antyah prandmdhjalih 
jhdndpdstasamastamohamahimd llye pare brahmanu 


‘ O mother earth, father wind, friend fire, loved kinsman water, 
brother ether, for the last time I clasp my hands before you in 
homage. I now merge in the highest Brahman, since through 
my abundance of good deeds, born of union with you, I have 
won pure and brilliant knowledge and thus have cast aside all 
the power of confusion.* 

Thus speaks the old man in Bhartrhari ; a very different note 
is struck in the stanzas which celebrate love without arriire- 
pensie or thought of the to-morrow : 

adargane darganamdtrakdmd : dr^tau pari^vahgarasaikaloldh 
dlihgitdydm punar dyatdksydm : dgdsmahe vigrahayor abhedam. 

* When we see not our loved one, we are content to long to gaze 
upon her ; seen, our one aim is the joy of close embraces ; 
embraced, our one prayer is that her body and our own may be 
made one.* Every act, every emotion, in the beloved has its 
charm : 

smitena bhdvena ca lajjayd bhiyd : pardhmukhair ardhaka- 

vacobhir Irsydkalahena lllayd : samastabhdvaih khalu bandhanam 

* Smiles, sentiment, shame, fear, glances averted, half-turned 
towards us, and side-long looks, loving words, jealousy, disputes, 
and play : all these are the weapons by which women bind us.* 
It is absurd to call maidens by that name (abald^ feeble) : 

nunam hi ie kavivard viparltabodhd 
ye nityam dhur abald iti kdtninindm 
ydbhir vilolataratdrakadrstipdtaih 

^akrddayo pi vijitds tv abaldh katharh tdkl 

‘ Feeble-minded indeed those great poets who ever say that 
loving maids are weak (women) ; how can they be deemed weak 
whose flashing star-like glances have laid low (Jakra and other 
gods ? * Another graceful play on words extols love's archery : 

mugdhe dhanu^mattd keyam apurvd tava drgyate 
yayd vidhyasi cetdhsi gunair eva na sdyakaih. 

‘Without parallel, o fair one, assuredly is thy marksmanship. 
With thy bowstrings (charms), not thine arrows, thou dost pierce 


our hearts.' A pretty picture shows us the beloved in the 
forest : 

vigramya vigramya vane drumdndm: chdydsu tanvi vicacdra 

stanottariyena karoddhrtena : nivdrayantl gagino mayukhdn, 

‘ With many a pause midst the shade of the forest trees moved 
the slender girl, shielding herself from the moonbeams by raising 
from her bosom her outer robe.* Two views of women are 
possible, as helps or hindrances : 

saihsdre 'sminn asdre kunrpatibhavanadvdrasevdkalahka- 
vydsahgadhvastadhairydh katham amaladhiyo mdnasaik safk- 

yady etdh prodyadindudyutinicayabhrto na synr ambhojanetrdh 
prenkhathdnclkaldpdh sta7tabharavinamanmadhyabhdgds ta- 

* In this unhappy world, where high courage is overwhelmed by 
the shame brought by waiting in the ante-chambers of evil kings, 
how could noble men find comfort in their hearts, were it not for 
the tender maidens, with the beauty of the rising moon, with 
lotus eyes, whose girdle-bells tinkle as their slender waists bend 
beneath the burden of their breasts ? * 

samsdrodadhijiistdrapadavi na davlyasl 
antard dustard na syur yadi ndryo mahdpagdK 

* The path across the ocean of life would not be long, were it 
not that women, those mighty unfordable streams, hinder the 

kdminikdyakdntdre kncaparvaiadtirgame 

tnd samcara mafiahpdntha tatrdste smarataskarak. 

‘ O wandering heart, stray not in the forest of woman's fair body, 
nor in the steeps which are her breasts, for there lurks Love, the 

The predominant metre of Bhartrhari is the ^ardulavikrldita, 
which in Bohlen's edition ^ is found in loi verses ; then comes 
the Qikharini in 48, the Qloka in 37, the Vasantatilaka in 35 ; the 
Sragdhara and the Arya each occur 18 times, while the Giti 

* Stanzicr, ZDMG. xliv. 34 f. ; Gray, JAOS. xx. 157 flf. 


variety of the Arya type is found twice, in one case in an unusual 
form. Other metres are sporadic; they include the Indravajra 
type, Malini, Harini, Mandakranta, Prthvi, Drutavilambita, Vah- 
^astha — in one stanza an Indravajra line is included — and Qalini ; 
Rathoddhata and Vaitaliya each occur twice, while there is 
a single example of each of the Dodhaka, Puspitagra, and 
Matrasamaka of 16 morae. 

2. Amaru 

Like Bhartrhari, Amaru or Amaruka — the quantity of the u 
varies — is a person of mystery. His century of stanzas,^ like 
those of Bhartrhari, is presented to us in a very different condi- 
tion in the manuscripts, which have from 90 to 115 verses. Of 
the four recensions ^ which have been distinguished only fifty-one 
stanzas are common to all, and there is much variation in order. 
Moreover, some of the stanzas in the Qataka are attributed by 
the anthologies to other writers, while conversely they ascribe to 
Amaru verses not found therein. Various efforts have been made 
to decide the original form of the text, but the suggestion that 
only (^ardulavikridita verses should be admitted as genuine 
lacks any proof, incidentally leaving us with only sixty-one such 
verses to make up the century; there is more plausibility in 
suggesting the superior value of the text as recognized by the 
oldest commentator Arjunavarman (c. no certainty is 


It is equally impossible to decide the date of the author. 
We know that the pataka was recognized by Anandavardhana 
{c. 850) as a work of high repute, for he cites it as a proof that 
a poet can in single stanzas convey so much sentiment that 
each appears like a poem in miniature. Further, Vamana (c, 800) 
cites, without naming the author, three stanzas. These citations 
establish certainly that the pataka dates before 750, but it is 
a long step from this to the conclusion that the work is of the 
period of Kalidasa, and, therefore, older than Bhartrhari. From 
the elaboration and perfection of the technique it seems much 
more probable that the poet wrote after rather than before 650. 

* See R. Simon, Das j 4 marufa/a^’a (Kiel, 1893); ZDMG. xlix. 577 

* South Indian (comm. Vemabhupala) ; Bengal (Kavicandra) ; that used by 
Arjunavarman ; and a mixed recension (Ramarudra, Rudramadeva). 


Unfortunately the only tradition recorded is absolutely foolish ; 
the great sage Qankara is alleged to have animated for a 
period the body of a king of Kashmir in order to obtain know- 
ledge of the pleasures of love, and the Qataka is the record 
of his experiences with the hundred ladies of the harem. The 
commentator Ravicandra carries this out to the extent of finding 
a theosophic sub-meaning in the stanzas. Other commentators 
have different views. Vemabhupala (14th cent.), commentator 
of the first recension, following up the description of the poem 
as having as its purpose the exposition of the sentiment of love, 
contained in the manuscripts, seeks to show for each stanza that 
it describes the condition of a Nayika, or heroine according to the 
description of the text-books of poetics. Others content them- 
selves with explaining the forms of rhetorical figures found 
therein. We may, however, dismiss the idea that the work was 
intended, like Rudra Bhatta’s ^rhgdratilaka^ to illustrate types 
of anything, whether figures or heroines.^ The Qataka is essen- 
tially a collection of pictures of love, and it differs from the work 
of Bhartrhari in that, while Bhartrhari deals rather with general 
aspects of love and women as factors in life, Amaru paints the 
relation of lovers, and takes no thought of other aspects of life. 
Possibly, if the reference to the purpose in the title in the manu- 
scripts has any value, he may have planned illustrating other 
sides of life, but that is idle conjecture, and we have sufficient 
cause to be grateful to him for what he has given us without 
seeking more. 

The love which Amaru likes is gay and high-spirited, delight- 
ing in tiny tiffs and lovers' quarrels, but ending in smiles ; the 
poet hardly ever contemplates the utter disappearance of love ; 
the maiden may be angry, but she will relent, and she is angry 
indeed when her lover takes her too seriously : 

katham api sakhi kriddkopdd vrajeti ntayodiie 

katkinahrdayas tyaktvd gayydm baldd gata eva sah 

iti sarabhasadhvastapremni vyapetaghrne sprhdnt 
punar api hatavrldani cetah karoti karomi kim? 

‘ In feigned anger, dear friend, I said to my beloved, “ Depart 
and straightway the hard-hearted one sprang from our couch and 

^ Sec Pischel’s ed. of Rudra, pp. 9-1 1. 



left me. Now my shameless heart yearns for that cruel one who 
so hastily broke off our love, and what can I do ? * Means to win 
back the errant one may be devised by^a kind confidante : 

datto ^sydh pranayas tvayaiva bhavatd seyam dram Idlitd 
daivdd adya kila tvam eva krtavdn asyd navam vipriyam 
manyur duhsaha esa ydty upagamam no sdntvavddaih sphutam 
he nistrihca vimuktakanthakarunam tdvat sakhi roditu. 

* “ Thou didst give her thy love ; long hast thou cherished her ; 
fate has decreed that to-day thou hast caused her fresh dis- 
pleasure ; her anger is hard to bear and words of comfort cannot 
stay it, o thou heartless man,** let this her friend say to melt his 
heart in tones that he can hear.* The hard-hearted maiden her- 
self is warned : 

likhann dste bhumini bahir avanatah prdnadayito 
nirdhdrdh sakhyah satatarudiiocchunanayandk 
parity akiam sarvant hasitapathitam pahjaragukais 
tavdvasthd ceyam visrja kathtne mdnam adhund, 

' The beloved of thy life standeth without, his head bowed down 
drawing figures on the ground ; thy friends can eat nothing, their 
eyes are swollen with constant weeping ; the parrots in their 
cages no more laugh or speak, and thine own state is this ! Ah, 
lay aside thine anger, o hard-hearted maiden.* And the punish- 
ment of the peccant lover is often sheer joy to both of them and 
her friends : 

kopdt komalalolabdhulatikdpdgena baddhvd drdham 

nitvd mohanamandiram dayitayd svairam sakhindm pur ah 
bhuyo 'py evam iti skhalanmrdugird samsucya dugce^ttam 
dhanyo hanyata eva nihnutiparah preydn rudatyd hasan* 

‘Happy the lover whom his enraged darling binds firm in the 
supple embrace of her arms and bears before her friends into 
love*s abode, to denounce his misdeeds in a soft voice that 
trembles as she says, “ Yet once more he wronged me , while he 
keeps on denying everything and laughing as she cries and 
pummels him.* But the picture may be more serious if the 
lover will insist on going despite all : 


3. Bilhana 

The author of the Vikramdhkadevacarita has left us a much 
more interesting relic in the shape of the poem often called 
Caurapancdgikd} perhaps more correctly Caurisuratapancdgikd^ 
fifty stanzas on a secret love. In two of the versions in which it 
is found, that of Kashmir ^ and that of South India,^ it is em- 
bedded in a poem styled Bilhanakdvya^ in which, as also by the 
commentators, the poem is asserted to have been composed to 
record a secret intrigue with a princess. Discovered by the king, 
the poet was sentenced to death and led out for this purpose, but 
his recitation of the glowing verses, in which he called to his 
memory for the last time the joys of their secret union, induced 
the king to relent and permit his marriage to the princess. Thus 
far there is agreement, but the Kashmir version asserts that the 
princess was Candralekha, daughter of Virasihha of Mahilapat- 
tana, while the southern version makes her Yaminlpurnatilaka, 
daughter of Madanabhirama of Pancala. The commentator 
Rama Tarkavagl9a (1798) insists^ that the poem is an appeal to 
Kalika by the prince Sundara of Caurapalli when condemned to 
death by Virasihha for his intrigue with Vidya, while the title 
has been explained as indicating that the poet was Caura, of 
whom indeed verses are extant It is quite clear from Bilhana's 
autobiography in his epic that he made no claim to royal 
intrigues, and common sense suggests that he portrayed the love 
of a robber chief and a princess, placing the robber in the delicate 
situation to which tradition assigned himself. The poem as 
a matter of fact merely makes it clear that the heroine was 
a princess ; it refers to the poet’s hour of death only in a probably 
spurious stanza, and the two stanzas prefixed to it in the Kashmir 
recension, even assuming their genuineness, are hard to interpret 
satisf^ictorily. The popularity of the text has rendered it most 
uncertain, but, as the author was a Kashmirian, and lived at 
a southern court, there is doubtless some reason for accepting as 

* Ed. Haeberlin, 227 flf.; KM. xiii. 145-69. 

* Ed. W. Solf, Kiel, 1 886. 

* Ed. J. Ariel, JA. s. 4, xi. 469 ff. Cf. Madras CataLy xx. 8004 ff. (ascribed to 

* So in Bharatacandra^s Vidyasundara (18th cent.) ; D. C. Sen, Bengali Lang, and 
Lii.f pp. 650 f.; /. 0. Catal.f i. 1524. 


genuine the thirty-four stanzas vouched for by both these recen- 
sions. That from northern India agrees with both the others in 
seven stanzas only. 

The Vasantatilaka stanzas depict with minute and often charm- 
ing detail the past scenes of happy love, and possess an elegance 
which is not exhibited in the Vikramdhkadevacarita, though 
with that poem the Pancdgikd agrees in its simplicity of style, 
which has the great advantage of being in harmony with the 
tone of the poem and the feigned occasion of its recital. Nor can 
it be termed too long ; there is sufficient variety in the ideas to 
prevent it becoming wearisome : 

adydpi tdm aviganayya krtdparddkam : mdm pddamulapatitam 
sahasd galantim 

vastrdhcalam mama kardn nijam dksipantlm: md meti rosa- 
parusam bruvatim smardmi. 

< Even to-day do I see her, as, heedless of my falling at her feet 
to expiate my offence, she rushed away, flung off my hand from 
the hem of her garment, and in anger cried out, “ No, never ! ” ’ 
adydpi tdm rahasi darpanam iksamdndm: sainkrdntamaipra- 
tinibham mayi prsthallne 

pagydmi vepathumatlm ca sasambhramdm ca: lajjdkuldm sama- 
dandm ca savibhramdm ca. 

‘ Even to-day I do see her secretly gazing at the mirror in which 
I was pictured while I stood behind her, all atremble and con- 
fused, utterly shamed between love and distraction. 
adydpi tdm mayi samipakavdtaline : manmdrgamuktadrgam 

madgotfalihgitapadam mydukdkallbhih : ktnictc ca gdtumanasam 
manasd smardmi. 

‘ Even to-day do I see her, as, head resting on her hand and eyes 
fixed on my path— though in truth I was hidden behind the door 
near by— she sought to sing in sweet tones a verse into which 
she had woven my name.’ The imitation of the Meghadiita is 
obvious, but elegant and attractive. 

adydpi tdm bhujalatdrpitakanthapdgdm : vaksahsthalam mama 
pidhdya payodhardhhydm 

Isannimllitasalllavilocandntdm: pagydmi mugdhavadandm va- 
danam pibantlm. 


* Even to-day do I see the fair arms that encircled my neck, 
when she clasped me close to her breast, and pressed her dear 
face against my own in a kiss, while her playful eyes half closed 
in ecstasy.* 

adydpi me varatanor madhurdni iasyd : ydny arthavanti na ca 
ydni nirarthakdni 

nidrdnimilitadreo madamant hardy ds : tdny aksardni hrdaye kim 
api dhvana7iti, 

* Even to-day here echo in my heart the words — sweet whether 
they bore meaning or not— of my fair one, when her eyes were 
shut in sleep and she was heavy with our love-play.’ It seems 
as if there were deliberate purpose in mentioning the princess’s 
rank in a verse with a distinct touch of humour, alluding as it 
does to the Indian fashion of addressing a man who sneezed with 
the words ‘ Live on ’ : 

adydpi ta^i manasi sa^nparivartate me: rdtrau niayi ksutavati 

jlveti mahgalavacaJt parihrtya kopdt: karne krtaih kanaka- 
pattram andlapantyd. 

‘ Even to-day do I think how, when I sneezed at night, the 
princess would not wish me the wonted blessing of “ Live on ”, 
but in silence placed on my ear an ornament of gold.’ The gold 
brings life, and thus served in lieu of the benediction. 

adydpi tdm pranayinim mrgagdbakdkslm : plyusavarnakucaknm- 
bhayugam vahafUhu 

pafydmy aham yadi ptmar divasdvasdne : svargdpavaigavara- 
rdjyastikham tyajdmu 

‘ Could I but see at the close of day once more my love with the 
eyes of a fawn, and milk-white rounded breasts, gladly would 
I sacrifice the highest joys of here and hereafter.’ 

4 . Jayadeva 

To the reign of Laksmanasena ^ in Bengal belongs the last 
great name in Sanskrit poetry, Jayadeva, son of Bhojadeva of 
Kindubilva, and with Govardhana, Dhol, Qarana, and Umapati- 

* Cf. EHI. pp. 419(1., 431 ff. ; M. Chakravarti, JPASB, 1906, pp. 163 (T. ; R. C 
Majomdar, JPASB, 1921, pp. 7 ff . (1175-1200); above, p. 53 n. 4. 


dhara, one of the five jewels which adorned the court. We have 
preserved of him one tiny Hindi poem, a eulogy of Hari Govind, 
ofefmed to be the oldest in the Adt Granth of the Sikhs, and 
many legends are told in the Bhakt Mala of his devotion to 
Krsna, who himself aided him to describe the loveliness of Radha 
when his mortal powers failed. It is strange that we should have 
nothing else from a man so talented, but at any rate he achieved 
in its own way a perfect and very novel work of art in the 
Gitagovindakdvyant, or Gitagovinda} the poem in which Govinda, 
Krsna as lord of the herdsmen and their wives, is sung. The 
fame of the author is attested by the fact that in his honour for 
centuries there was held each year at his birthplace a festival, in 
which during the night the songs of his poem were sung. Prata- 
parudradeva in 1499 ordered that the dancers and Vaisnava 
singers should learn his songs only, and an inscription of 1292 
already cites a verse. Hence his own claim that he is over-king 
of poets {kavirdjardja) has been justified in his own land, while 
even through the distorting medium of Sir William Jones’s 
version his high qualities attracted the praise which Goethe ^ also 
lavished on Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Qakuntald. 

The form of the poem is extremely original, and has led to the 
belief that we have in the poem a little pastoral drama, as Jones 
called it, or a lyric drama, as Lassen styled it, or a refined Yatra, 
as von Schroeder preferred to term it. Pischel and L^vi, on the 
other hand, placed it in the category between song and drama, on 
the ground inter alia that it is already removed from the Yatra 
type of dramatic performance by the fact that the transition 
verses are put in definite form and not left to improvisation, but 
Pischel also styles it a melodrama. The facts are, however, 
satisfactorily clear and allow of greater precision of statement. 
The poet divides the poem into cantos, which is a clear sign that 
he recognized it to belong to the generic type Kavya, and that 
he did not mean it to be a dramatic performance with the 
division into acts, interludes, and so forth. On the other hand, 
he had before his mind when he wrote the Yatras of Bengal, 
where in honour of Krsna in a primitive form of drama dances 

‘ Ed. C. Lassen (1836) ; NSP. 1923 ; trans. F. Riickert, ZKM. i. 128 flf. ; G. Cour- 
tillier, Paris, 1904. 

® Wirke^ xxxvii. 210 f. 


accompanied by music and song were performed, and in inserting 
as the most vital element in his poem such songs he doubtless . 
foresaw the use that would be made of them both in ^he temples 
and at festivals. The songs are given to us in the manuscripts 
with precise indication by technical terms of the melody {ragd) 
and time {tala) of the music ^ and dance which they were to 
accompany, and the poet definitely bids us think of songs as 
being performed in this way before our mental eyes. To con- 
ceive of writing such a poem was a remarkable piece of originality, 
for it was an immense step from the popular songs of the Yatras 
to produce so remarkably beautiful and finished a work. 

The art of the poet displays itself effectively in the mode in 
which song and recitative are blended and the skill with which 
monotony of form is avoided by not restricting the recitative to 
mere introductory verses explaining the situation, while the songs 
express in their turn the feelings of the personnel of the poem, 
Krsna, his favourite Radha, and the faithful friend, who is the 
essential confidante of every Indian heroine. Recitative is used 
for occasional narrative verses to explain the situation, but also 
in brief descriptions, and, as a mode of securing variety, in speeches 
which serve as an alternative to songs as the mode of intimating 
the sentiments of the characters. There is thus no stereotyped 
form ; the recitative and the song, narrative, description, and 
speeches are cunningly interwoven, all with deliberate purpose. 
The first canto, which contains four of the twenty-four Pra- 
bandhas, songs, into which the poem is also divided, exhibits in 
perfection the complex structure. The poet begins with four 
verses, in the last of which he celebrates himself and his fellow- 
poets ; then the first Prabandha begins, consisting of a hymn in 
eleven stanzas sung in honour of the ten incarnations of Visnu, 
and ending with a mention of the author, whose hymn Krsna is 
entreated to hear ; each stanza ends with the refrain, ‘ Conquer, 
o lord of the world, o Hari.’ This closes the Prabandha, and 
a single stanza, doubtless recited, follows, in which the poet sums 
up the forms of Visnu which the hymn has glorified. Prabandha ii 
opens with another hymn in nine stanzas sung in honour of the 
god, each ending with the refrain, ‘Conquer, conquer, o god, 

^ Soma, son of Mudgala, in his Rdgavibodha gives the music for the songs; cf. ; 
S. M '\ 9 jgoTty Hindu Music (1875), i. 159. 


0 Had.’ At the close of the Prabandha and before the next is 
^ recited stanza invoking a benediction from Krsna. Prabandha iii 
Vnsists of a recited verse telling how Radha’s friend spoke to 
her in the spring and then sings in eight stanzas ^ how Krsna is 
dancing with the cowherdesses in the groves. Three stanzas in 
recitative follow, describing the spring, and ending with the state- 
ment that Radha’s friend once more addressed her, and Pra- 
bandha iv consists of a song in eight stanzas in which she 
describes how the loving maidens flock to Krsna and embrace 
him in their passion. Then three stanzas of recitative follow, the 
first two descriptive, the last a benediction. Canto ii tells us first 
of Radha s dejection and gives her song of complaint against her 
lover (Prabandha v), followed by a stanza of recitative, intro- 
ducing another song (vi) in which she expresses her deep longing 
for the god. Then in two recited stanzas she celebrates the god, 
while the poet in the last stanza invokes the usual benediction. 

In Canto iii Krsna appears in person ; remorse and longing for 
Radha have seized him ; two recited verses describe his state, 
and Prabandha vii gives his song of love. This is followed by 
recited verses addressed by him, first to the god of love, and then 
to Radha herself, and the poet closes the canto with a prayer to 
Krsna as the lover of Radha to confer fortune and happiness on 
the hearers. In Canto iv Radha s friend addresses Krsna and in 
two songs (viii and ix) depicts the yearnings of her mistress and 
her deep sorrow at separation from her beloved. A benediction 
ends the canto. In the next two we find Radha’s friend urging 
in three fine songs (x-xii) reconciliation of her mistress with 
Krsna. But in Canto vii we find tb'^t the faithless god has not 
come^and the moon's rising heightens Radha’s love, to which she 
gives expression in four passionate songs (xiii-xvi). He appears, 
but she addresses him again in a song (xvii) expressing her 
resentment, followed by recitative in the same sense (viii). Her 
companion seeks by a song (xviii) to console her (ix), and Kfsna 
himself appears and sings (xix) to her (x). There still remains 
Radha's reluctance and shyness to be overcome in three songs 
by her friend (xi) ; but all is secure at last, and the poem closes 
with songs in which Krsna addresses his beloved and she replies. 

1 * 'I'his is the normal number, and hence the poem figures as Astapadl in the south. 
Cf. Seshagiri, Report^ 1893-4, PP- 



The poet invokes the usual benediction, and extols his own 
knowledge of music, his devotion to Visnu, his delicate discrimi- 
nation of sentiments, and his poetical charm and grace. 

Efforts have been made to establish that the poem has a 
mystical significance and to interpret it in this sense. The desire 
in part at least has been prompted by the feeling that the loves 
of Krsna and Radha are too essentially of the body rather than 
of the mind, and that to ascribe them to the divinity is unworthy. 
But this is to misunderstand Indian feeling. The classical poets 
one and all see no harm in the love-adventures of the greatest 
deities, and what Kalidasa did in the Kuindrasantbhava was 
repeated by all his successors in one form or another. But, on 
the other hand, it must not be forgotten that the religion of 
Jayadeva was the fervent Krsna worship which found in the god 
the power which is ever concerned with all the wishes, the hopes 
and fears of men, which, if in essence infinite and ineffable, yet 
expresses itself in the form of Krsna, and which sanctions in his 
amours the loves of mankind. In this sense Jayadeva’s work is 
deeply touched with the spirit of religion, and stands like the 
Bakchai of Euripides utterly apart from the attitude of the 
Alexandrine poets or Propertius and Ovid in their treatment of 
the legends of the gods. To Kallimachos as much as to his 
Roman imitators the gods and goddesses were no more than 
names, at best elegant symbols of a higher reality, but without 
real life of their own. Roman poets could here and there catch 
the tone of seriousness as in the atheist Lucretius’ famous 
exordium to the mother of the Aeneidae, darling of gods and 
men, increase-giving Venus, and still more in Catullus’ extra- 
ordinary if repellent picture of the adorer of Cybele who becomes 
as Attis. But neither Lucretius nor Catullus was himself 
a believer, and all doubt, all scepticism are far from Jayadeva, to 
whom alike in his play with others and in his more abiding love 
for Radha Krsna remained not merely divine, but the embodi- 
ment of the highest of gods. 

Jayadeva's work is a masterpiece, and it surpasses in its com- 
pleteness of effect any other Indian poem. It has all the perfec- 
tion of the miniature word-pictures which are so common in 
Sanskrit poetry, with the beauty which arises as Aristotle asserts 
from magnitude and arrangement. All the sides of love, save 


that of utter despair and final separation, are brilliantly described ; 
all the emotions of longing, of awakened hope, of disappointment, 
I, of hot anger against the unfaithful one, of reconciliation, are por- 
trayed by the actors themselves or Radha*s friend in songs which 
are perfect in metrical form and display at its highest point the 
sheer beauty of words of which Sanskrit is pre-eminently capable. 
There can be no doubt that in their wider range of interests, in 
which love plays a part important indeed but not paramount in 
human affairs, Aischylos, Sophokles, and Euripides can attain 
in their choruses effects more appealing to our minds than Jaya- 
deva, but their medium is not capable of producing so complete 
a harmony of sound and sense. We are apt to regard with 
impatience the insistence of the writers on poetics on classing 
styles largely by the sounds preferred by different writers, but 
there is no doubt that the effects of diflfeient sounds were more 
keenly appreciated in India than they are by us, and in the case 
of the Gltagovinda the art of wedding sound and meaning is 
carried out with such success that it cannot fail to be appreciated 
even by ears far less sensitive than those of Indian writers on 
poetics. The result, however, of this achievement is to render 
any translation useless as a substitute for the original ; if to be 
untranslatable is a proof of the attainment of the highest poetry 
Jayadeva has certainly claim to that rank. 

The poet’s effects are not produced by any apparently elaborate 
effort, nor is he guilty of straining language ; his compounds are 
often fairly long but they are not obscure ; in poems which were 
to be sung and to be used at popular festivals artificiality was 
obviously out of place, and, though they can never have been 
intelligible to the mass of their admirers without the readily given 
aid of vernacular interpretations, the songs are such as, once 
explained, would doubtless easily be comprehended and learned. 
Canto ix exhibits the poet’s effective simplicity : 

Hartr abkisaraii vahati madhupavane : kim aparam adhika- 
sukham sakhi bhavane 
Madhave md kuru mdnini mdnam aye. 

tdlaphalad api gurum atisarasam : kim viphaUkum^e kucaka- 
las am: Madhave 

^ kati na katlntani idam anupadam aciram : md parihara Harim 
atigayaruciram : Mddhave 

O 2 


kim iii visidasi rodisi vikald : vihasaii yuvatisabhd tava sa- 
kald: Mad have 

mrdunalinidalafltalafayane : Harim avalokaya saphalaya na- 
yane : Madhave 

janayasi vianasi kim iii gurukhedam : grnu mama vacanam 
anlhitabhedam : Madhave 

Harir upaydtu vadaiu bahumadhuram : kim iti karosi hrdayani 
aiividhuram : Mddhave 

(rijayadevabhaniiam atilalitam: snkhayatu rasikajanam Hari- 
caritam: Mddhave 

‘ Hari cometh, as the spring wind bloweth ; what joy more per- 
fect hast thou in thy home, dear one? Noble one, be not wroth 
with Madhava. Why dost thou waste the fairness of thy bosom, 
lovelier far than the palm fruit? Noble one, be not wroth with 
Madhava. How often have I not told thee, at every moment ? 
Reject not Hari who is exceeding fair. Noble one, be not wroth 
with Madhava. Why art despondent, tearful and dejected? All 
the young company doth make mock of thee. Noble one, be not 
wroth with Madhava. On the couch cooled by the soft lotus 
petals gaze upon Hari, give thine eyes their fruition. Noble one, 
be not wroth with Madhava. Why dost kindle in thy mind deep 
sorrow ? Hearken to my warning that seeketh not to part you. 
Noble one, be not wroth with Madhava. Let Hari come and speak 
to thee long and tenderly. Why dost thou so harden thy heart 
against him ? Noble one, be not wroth with Madhava. May this 
tale of Hari, spoken by Jayadeva, by its sweetness delight all 
men of taste. Noble one, be not wroth with Madhava.* 

Not less pretty is the invitation to Radha by her companion to 
enter into the grove where Kfsna, pining for reconciliation and 
the fruition of his love, awaits her: 

mahjutarakuhjatalakelisadane : praxn^a Rddhe MddhavasamU 
pam iha 

vilasa ratirabhasahasitavadane, 

navabhavadafokadalagayanasdre : praviga Rddhe MddhavasamU 
pam iha 

vilasa kucakalasataralahdre, 

kusumacayaracitagucivdsagehe : praviga Rddhe MddhavasamU 
pam iha 

vilasa kusumasnkumdradehe. 


* In his playground neath the lovely thicket, come, o Radha, to 
Madhava, thy face all smiling with the eagerness of love. In his 
grove with young Ajoka shoots as thy couch, come, o Radha, 
to Madhava, play with him, as thy necklet quivers on the cups 
of thy bosom. In this bright home wrought of many a flower, 
come, o Radha, to Madhava, play with him, thou whose body is 
tender as a flower.* Equally brilliant is the picture drawn by her 
friend of the delights of Krsna with his loving maidens around 
him in the grove, though the effect is produced by the accumula- 
tion of long compounds : 



Harir iha mugdhavadhunikare : vilasini vilasati kelipare, 

pinapayodharabhdrabharena Haritn parirabhya sardgam 

gopavadhur a^iugdyati kdcid udahcitapancamardgam: Harir 

kdpi vildsavilolavilocanakhelanajanitanianojani 

dhydyati gopavadhur adhikam Madhusiidanavadanasarojam : 


* His black body sandal-bedecked, clad in yellow, begarlanded, 
with his earrings dancing on his cheeks as he sporteth, smiling 
ever, Hari here midst the band of loving maidens maketh merry 
in the merriment of their sport. One of the maidens claspeth 
Hari fast to her throbbing heart, and singeth in the high Pancama 
key. Yet another doth stand deeply dreaming of Madhusu- 
dana’s lotus face, whose sportive glances have caught and won 
her heart for its own.’ 

It has been claimed ^ that the work goes back to an original in 
Apabhrah9a, and the ground adduced is the use of rime. This, 
however, clearly overstates the position ; it is utterly improbable 
that the original of the poem was ever in anything but Sanskrit, 
and the most that can be said is that the use of rime which is 
regular in Apabhrah^a poems may have influenced the author of 
the Gitagovinda. But in Sanskrit poetry such rime^ as we find 
probably is to be derived from the fondness for Yamakas, the 
repetition of groups of syllables ; when this repetition takes 

‘ Pischel, DU Hofdichter dcs Laksmafiasena^ p. 22. 

* Jacobi, Bhavisatia Kaha, pp. 51 f. Cf. Vasudeva’s Yamakakavyns (chap. Iv, 
k § 7), Ghaiakarpara^ Nahdaya^ Anandatinha's Yatnakabhdrata {Madras Catal., xx 
7954 ) I (^rivauanka’s Yamakaratndkara {ibid. 7797)i 


place at the end of lines in a stanza we have an approximation to 
rime. Yamakas are dealt with at length by the older school of 
poetics, and they are frequently found in Prakrit ; indeed, Hema- 
candra prescribes for the Galitaka metre, frequently used in 
Prakrit poems, the use of Yamakas at the end of the lines. In 
Apabhrahfa poetry Yamakas seem to have been allowed also. 
True rime, that is when the consonant preceding the correspond- 
ing vowel differs, is ignored by the earlier writers on poetics and 
is first defined as Antyanuprasa, alliteration at the end, by the 
Sdhityadarpana ; Hemacandra, however, in his C/iando* nugdsana 
has occasion to mention it and to distinguish it as Anuprasa from 
the mere Yamaka. When used in Sanskrit poetry, it is in the main 
more or less accidental and is not regularly employed, nor is it 
common in Prakrit. The frequency with which it is approached 
in Jayadeva may, therefore, be due in some degree to Apa- 
bhranja influence. It may be noted also that the metre of the 
poem is essentially based on the Gana system ^ in which the 
determining principle is the number of feet of four morae^ substi- 
tution of a long for two shorts and vice versa thus being per- 
mitted and freely resorted to.^ 

* Jacobi, ZDMG. xxxviii. 599; SIFI. VIII. ii. 87, 94, n. 1, 113, n. 4. 

* The cflfectivc use of the refiain is doubtless borrowed from religious verse; it is 
found in the Rgveda^ and in the classical religious lyric, in which also is found rime 
(e. g. the'Mohamndifara). See the Daksi/:dmu/ tisfo/raf Nirvd\:adc^akat Hastdma- 
lakastotra^ and CarfatapaHjarikdstoira ascribed to ^ankara. 



I . Secular Poetry 

N one of the other secular lyrics which have come down 
to us is necessarily older than Bhartrhari, certainly none 
need be as old as Kalidasa. Of the many poems which 
must have existed in the time of Patahjali we have the merest 
hints, although from the Theragathds and Therlgdthds of the 
Pali canon, which may be about the same period as Patafijali, 
we can conclude that poetic art was steadily developing in re* 
finement from the earlier stage of which hints are preserved in the 
Rgveia itself and in the Atharvaveda on the one hand, and in 
fragments of ballads, and even of a drinking song, found inci- 
dentally in Pali texts.^ But these earlier efforts doubtless in 
many cases deservedly have passed into oblivion, though we may 
suspect that our taste would have found pleasure in poems whose 
simplicity would have seemed to us rather a commendation than 
a cause of censure. 

To Kalidasa are ascribed, with no adequate ground, a number 
of poems, of which the ^rngdratilaka^ has some claim to be 
deemed worthy of the honour, though it is quite illegitimate to 
accord it to Kalidasa. Its twenty-three stanzas are attractive 
pictures of love, but they lack special distinction. The poet 
neatly condemns, while praising, his hard-hearted beloved : 

indlvarena nayafiam inukhatn antbujena : kundena dantam adh^ 
aram navapallavena 

ahgdni campakadalaih sa vidhaya vedhah : kdnte katham gha- 
titavdn upalena cetakf 

^ Dighanikdya^ 21 (GIL. ii. 3a); Jataka 51a. 

* Ed. Gildemeister, Bonn, 1841. Cf. Pischcl, (^rhgdratilaka, p. 27. The lait 
Stanza occurs in Amaru, and v. 3 is cited in Dbanika’s Dafarupavaloka (iith cent.), 
at least in some MSS. In Hneberlin, 14 ff. it has twenty-one stanzas. The Qrngdra- 
rasdUaka is also ascribed to Kalidasa ; v. 7 is, v. 4 may be, his. 


* Thine eyes are blue lotuses, thy face a Nymphaea, thy teeth 
jasmine, thy lower lip a tender shoot, thy limbs leaves of the 
Campaka; tell me then, beloved, how the creator formed thy 
heart of stone/ Pretty, if trite, is the maiden as a hunter ; 

iyam vyadhdyate bald: bhrur asydh karmukdyate 
katdk^dg ca gardyante mano me harindyate. 

‘ This maid is a huntress, her brows the bow, her sidelong glances 
the arrows, and my heart the deer/ But most effective is a note 
of bitterness and pain : 

kim me vaktram tipetya cumbasi baldn nirlajja lajjdkrie 

vastrdntam gatha inuitca munca gapathaih kim dhurta nir- 
vahcase f 

ksindham iava rdtrijdgaravagdt tarn eva ydhi priydm 
nirmdlyojjhitapugpaddmanikare kd gatpaddndm ratih f 

* Why dost come and kiss my lips against my will, thou shame- 
less one in thy pretence of shame ? Let go, let go, I say, the 
hem of my robe. Why seek with thine oaths to deceive me ? 
I am worn through a sleepless vigil for thee ; go back to her 
with whom thou wert then. What care the bees for the garland 
of flowers that hath been cast away as outworn ? ’ This is good 
poetry but it is not in the manner of Kalidasa. On the other 
hand, we have from an anthology a brilliant verse that can hardly 
but be his : 

payodhardkdradharo hi kandukah: karena rogdd iva tadyate 

itiva netrdkftibhitam uipalam : tasydh prasdddya papdta padayoh. 

* The ball whose roundness matched her breasts she beat ever and 
anon in anger ; hence, I ween, the lotus afraid of the anger in 
her eyes fell at her feet to implore her pardon/ 

Much less attractive is the Ghatakarpara ^ in twenty-two 
stanzas, which describes how a young wife at the beginning of 
the rains sends a message by the cloud to her absent husband, 
a situation the reverse of that described in the Megha uta. The 
poem owes its title to the fact that the author at the close offers 
to carry water in a broken jar for any one who can surpass him in 

* Kd. Haeberlin, 1 20 f. 



Yamakas, alliterations consisting of repetitions in corresponding 
places of groups of the same letters. Hence perhaps there has 
been evolved the poet Ghatakarpara who would thus have per- 
petuated his name by this word-play. That the work is earlier 
than Kalidasa is deduced by Jacobi ' from the fact of this boast, 
which later was not justified ; if, however, the poem when first 
written set a model in this form of composition, then it might be 
preserved when it had ceased to be pre-eminent on the score of 
its originality. This conjecture seems wholly implausible; no 
example of a text being preserved as a literary curiosity is 
known, and Ghatakarpara evidently was ranked higher by Indian 
taste than by modern opinion, for he was made one of the nine 
jewels of Vikramaditya’s court as contemporary of Kalidasa. 
The fact that a Nitisdra ® in twenty-one stanzas is ascribed to 
him does not strengthen the case for his identity, as there is 
nothing distinctive in the verses. 

We come to more definite chronological grounds with the name 
of Mayura,^ who flourished at Harsavardhana's court in the 
seventh century and who was reputed the father-in-law ^ of Bana, 
while Matanga Divakara won fame comparable to both of them. 
The legend tells that he described so minutely the beauties of his 
daughter that she cursed him in anger, and he became a leper, 
from which unhappy state he was rescued through the aid of the 
sun god whom he celebrated in his Suryagataka, It seems 
probable enough that the legend is due to a verse of the Mayu- 
rdstaka which describes the appearance of a maiden who has 
secretly visited her lover and is returning from his side : 

e^d kd stanapinabhdrakathind madhye daridrdvatl 
vibhrdntd harinl viloianayand samtrastayuthodgata 
antahsvedagajendragandagalitd samlllayd gacchati 

drstvd rr,pam idam priydmgagahanam vrddho 'pi kdnidyate. 

‘ Who is this timid gazelle, burdened with firm swelling breasts, 
slender-w^isted and wild-eyed, who hath left the startled herd ? 

* Rdmayana^ p, ia6. 

* Haebeilin, 504 ff. 

* Qiiackenbos, The Sanskrit Poems of May ura (1917). 

* Or brother-in-law; ihe legends vary; there seems no truth in the relationship. 
But their rivalry is attested by Padmagupta, Navasdhasdnkacariia, ii. 18 ; Zacharlae, 
B, Beitr.f aiii. 100. 


She goeth in sport as if fallen from the temples of an elephant 
in rut. Seeing her beauty even an old man turns to thoughts of , 
love.* The heavy and tedious style, added to the number of 
double entendres implied, marks the poetry as of second-rate 
order, but it confirms the view that he was a contemporary of 
Baija, for that author’s style is saved only by his real brilliance 
from equal demerit. 

So scanty are our records that the next important lyric poet 
of whom we have more than the name and stanzas in the antho- 
logies is a contemporary of Jayadeva, Govardhana, whom he 
extols as incomparable in effective erotic descriptions. Jayadeva, 
however, was neither reticent about himself nor his friends, and 
we cannot subscribe to his eulogy. The aim of Govardhana, as 
he himself insists, was to raise the Yamuna in the air in the shape 
of elevating the simple love songs extant in Prakrit to the level 
of Sanskrit. His chosen medium is the Arya verse, and he has 
composed in this metre, which is unquestionably borrowed by 
Sanskrit from Prakrit, seven hundred erotic stanzas, without inner 
connexion and arranged alphabetically. The poetry, however, 
lacks the popular flavour which marks the 5 a/to^fof Hala, who, 
of course, was the model for the Arydsaptagaii^ and perhaps the 
most interesting thing about the poem is the fact that on it was 
based the Sat'sai (i66a) in Hindi of Bihar! Lai, who has won 
high rank among Hindi poets, and whose work again was copied 
by a late Sanskrit writer, Paramananda,in his ^rngdrasaptagatikd. 
The imitation of a Prakrit model is carried to the extent of 
styling the sections Vrajyas; within them there is no order 
observed and the effort to produce 700 verses necessarily leads to 
repetition and many weak lines. His brothers Udayana and 
Balabhadra corrected and brought out his work, but the text is 
difficult even when free from suspicion from corruption, for the 
poet is fond of suggestion in lieu of expression. A more favour- 
able idea of him is given in a verse cited by Rupagosvamin : 

pdntha Dvdravatim praydsi yadi he tad Devaklnandano 

vaktavyah smaramohamafttravivagd gopyo pi ndmojjhitdh 
etdh kelikadambadhulipalalair alokagunyddigah 

Kalindltatabhumayo 'pi tava bho ndydnti cittdspadam, 

‘ O stranger, if thou art going to DvSravatl, pray say to Devaki’s 


son : “ Dost thou never think of the cowherdesses, whom thou 
hast left powerless through love’s bewildering spell, or of Kalindl’s 
glades, where the sky is covered by the masses of blossom dust 
of the Kadamba flowers with which thou wert wont to play ? ” ’ 

The anthologies ' are the source of our knowledge of the poet 
Panini, whose identity with the grammarian has already been 
denied, despite the fact that it is in accord with Indian tradition. 
The verses ascribed to him are undeniably proof of no small skill 
as a poet of love : 

tanvahglnai'n st&iuiu drstva (trah kampayale yuva 
tayor antarasavilaguam drsttm utpatayann tva. 

‘ The youth, having seen the breasts of the fair ladies, shakes his 
head, as though he were seeking to rescue his gaze fast prisoned 
between them.’ 

k^apdh k^amlkrtya prasabham apahriyambu santam 
pratapyorvim krtsndm tarugahanam tmhofya sakalam 
kva sampraty usttahfur gata iit tadanvesanaparas 
iadiddlpaloka di(i dt(i carantlva jaladah. 

• " Where hath the sun gone, after making short the nights, 
stealing the water of the streams, parching all the earth and 
scorching every thicket ? ” So saying the clouds wander hither 
and thither seeking his presence in every lightning Has . 

panau conataU tanudari daraksantd kapolasthall ^ 

vinyastahjanadigdhalocamjalaih kirn mlamvt 

mugdhe cumbatu ndina cahcalatayd bhrhgah kvaext kandalim 
unmilannavamdlatlparimalah kirn tena vismaryate. 

•Why, slender maiden, dost bedew with tears stained by eye- 
salve the haggard cheek, that doth rest on that reddened palm? 

onefLugh the b« may in ScUienea, ^ 
blossom, yet doth he ever forget the fragrance of the blooming 

of the young jasmine ? * 

vilokya samgame ragatn pageimayd vivasvatd 

krtL kmam nxukham prdcyd na hi ndryo vrnermya. 

ei ff rf Peterson, Subhdsitdvali^ 

PrakHt-Sprachtn, p. 33- 


‘ Dark groweth the face of the East as she beholdeth the glow 
of the sun in union with the West. What woman is free from , 
jealousy ? * 

gate rdhardtre parimandaniandam : garjanti yat prdvr^i kdla^ 

apagyatl vatsam ivendubimbam : tac charvari gatir iva huh- 

‘ When at midnight in the rainy season the dark clouds thunder 
deeply, then Night, unable to see the disk of the rhoon, crieth 
aloud like a cow that seeketh her calf.’ 

asau gireh gitalakandarasthak: pdrdvato manmathacdtudaksah 
gharmdlasdhgim madhurdni kujan : samvljate paksaputena kdn- 

Yonder dove, which dwelleth in a cool hollow of the mountain, 
and is skilled in all loving dalliance, cooing sweetly doth fan with 
its wings the loved one, wearied by the heat/ 

As among the scanty remains of this poet we have the un- 
grammatical apagyati and gy/iya^ narrative aorists, and as the con- 
struction ofgtreh in the last-cited verse is careless, we can hardly 
seriously suppose that the author was the grammarian, even 
apart from the style of the verses/ 

The anthologies give us invaluable testimony as to other poets 
now lost but of real merit. To Vakku^a is ascribed an elegant 
expression of the sad fate of the lover who, parted from his 
beloved, looks on all sides only to find some sign w^ich speaks 
to him poignantly of lost joys : 

ete cniamahirtiho py avtralair dhumayitaih ^afpadair 
ete prajvaltidh sphutatkisalayodbhedair agokadrutndk 
ete kihgukagdkhino 'pi malinair ahgdritdh kudmalaih 
ka^tam vigramaydmt kutra nayatte sarvatra vdmo vidhih. 

‘ The mango shoots here smoke with the hordes of bees, here 
the Afoka glows with bursting flower buds, here the branches 
of the Kin9uka are coal-coloured with their dark shoots ; alas, 
where can I rest my weary eyes ? Everywhere is fate cruel to 
me. Ladahacandra sends a pretty message from a maiden to 
her loved one ; 

> Bhandukar, JBRAS. xvi. aooff., 343(1. ; Kielhorn, GN, 1885, pp. 185 f. 


gantdsi cet pathika he mama yatra kantas : tat tvam vaco hara 
fttcau jagatdm asahyah 

tdpah sagarjaguruvdrinipdtabhltas : tyaktvd hhuvam virahinlhr- 
dayam vive(a, 

‘ Wanderer, if thou shalt come to the place where is my beloved, 
then tell him from me that the flame of summer that none can 
endure, fearing the fall of heavy rain midst thunder, hath left the 
earth and entered the heart of the deserted maiden/ To the 
poetess Qilabhattarika some pretty stanzas are attributed : 

yah kaumdraharah sa eva hi varas td eva caitraksapds 
te comnilitamdlatlparimaldfi pratidhdh kadambanildk 
sd caivdsmi tathdpi catiryasnratavydpdrallldvidhau 
Revdrodhasi vetasUarutale cetah samutkanthate, 

‘ This is the husband who stole my maidenhood, these are the 
same April nights, these the breezes whispering in the Kadamba, 
fragrant with the budding jasmines, I myself too am the same ; 
yet my heart yearns for the dalliance and the secret love that 
was ours below the ratan tree on the bank of the Rcva/ She is 
accorded ^ with Bana the merit of being a type of the Paftcala 
style, in which sound and sense claim equal honour, and the 
claim is fully justified by her verses : 

duti tvam tar uni ynvd sa capalah (ydmas iamobhir digah 
samdegas sarahasya esa vipine samketakdvdsakah 
bhuyo bhuya iine vasantamarutag ceto nayanty anyathd 
gaccha kseinasamdgaindya iiipunam rak^antu te devatdh. 

‘ My messenger, thou art but a tender maid, and the youth is 
fickle, darkness holds the sky, my commission is secret, the place 
of assignation is in the wood, these winds of spring entice more 
and more the heart ; yet go and meet him in safety ; may the 
gods guard thy skill/ 

Many poems are anonymous, while others are so variously 
ascribed by the anthologies that no weight can be placed on the 

* By Raja9ekbara, who mentions also Vikatanitamba, Vijayafiki of Kai-nita as peer 
of Kaiidisa in the Vaidarbha, PrabhudevI Lati, and VijjakS, as well as Subhadri. His 
wife Avaniisundarl figures with him as an authority on poetics. Kane {Sahtiyadatpatta^ 
p. xli) suggests equating Vijjaka with VijaySnkR, and VijayabhattariVa, queen of 
CandrSditya (r. 660 


names to which they are ascribed. Very simple but very 
pretty is : 

ahkurite pallavite korakite vikasite sahakare 
atiknrttah pallavttah korakito vikasitag ca tnadanah. 

‘ Swollen and sprouted and budded and bloomed hath the mango, 
swollen and sprouted and budded and bloomed hath love.’ There 
is a certain humour in the consolation offered to the lover who 
has had to abandon a very sentimental maiden : 

(iccktnnam nayananibu bandhusu krtam cinta gnrubkyo 'rpita 
dattam datnyam age^atah parijane tdpah sakhisv dhitah 
adya gvah parinirvrthh vrajati sa gvasaih param khidyate 
vigrabdho bhava viprayogajanitam duhkham vibkaktam tayd. 

‘ Her unceasing flow of tears has been distributed among her 
friends, her anxiety passed on to her elders, her depression has 
been transferred wholesale to her attendants, her fire of love 
deposited in her companions ; to-day or to-morrow her calm will 
be complete, only sighs now vex her. Take heart; she has 
shared out the sorrow begotten of thy departure.’ A very 
different hand gives a picture of the moon : 

udayagirtsaudhagikhare tdrdcayacitritdtnbaravitdne 
stnhdsanam iva nihitam candrah kandarpabhupasya. 

‘ On the pinnacle of the palace of the mountain of dawn, under 
a canopy of sky bespangled witli the host of the stars, the moon 
hath been set as a throne for Love the king.’ Circumstances 
alter cases, as the hapless lover finds : 

prdg ydtnini priyaviyogavipaitikdle : tvayy eva vdsaragatdni 
layam gatdni 

datvdt katham katham api priyasamgame 'dya: cdnddli kirn 
tvam asi vdsara eva llnd, 

‘ When aforetime I suffered the sorrow of severance from my 
beloved, o night, in thee a hundred days passed away; now 
when fate but hardly gave me reunion, thou, shameless one. hast 
departed in the day itself.’ Even fanning kindles love : 

viramata viramata sakhyo nalinldalatdlavrntapavanena 
hrdayagaio 'yam vahnir jhat Hi kaddeij jvalaty eva. 



Stop, stop, my friends ; through the wind of the fan of lotus 
leaves the fire that is in my heart hath in a moment rekindled.* 
A sadder note but a true one is found in Halayudha : 

Bhlmendtra vijrmbhitam dhanur iha Dronena muktam gtud 
Karnasydira hayd hr id rathapatir Bhlsvio Ur a yoddhum 

vigvani rupam ihdrjunasya Harind samdargitam kantukad 
uddegds ia ime na te sukrtinak kdlo hi sarvamkasak, 

* Here Bhima*s valour was unfolded ; here Drona in sorrow let fly 
his arrows ; here were stolen the steeds of Karna ; here stood 
Bhisma, lord of the car, to fight; here at Arjuna*s entreaty did 
Hari display his full majesty ; still all the places remain, but not 
these great ones, for time deslroyeth all.* 

An author to whom many stanzas are ascribed, which are 
found also in the collections of Amaru and Bhartrhari,^ is the 
Buddhist Dharmakiiti, of whom we know mainly as a logician of 
the seventh century A. D. One verse is a neat hit at the results 
of reputation in dimming the chance of fair judgement of poetry : 

gailair bandhayati sma vdnarahrtair Vdlmikir ambhonidhith 
Vydsah Pdrihagarais tathdpi na iayor atyuktir udbhdvyate 
vdgarthau ca iulddhridv iva tathdpy asmatprabandhdn ayam 
loko dusayitnm prasdritamukhas tubhyam pratisthe naniah, 

‘Valmiki has depicted the bridging of the ocean by monkeys 
carrying stones, Vyasa by Partha*s arrows ; none takes exception 
to their exaggeration. In my works sense and sound are, as it 
were, weighed in a balance, but the world eagerly aims at 
criticism. Ah, what a thing it is to have reputation.’ There is 
a touching picture of the beloved in separation : 

vaktrendor na haranti bdspapayasdm dhdrd manojndm griyam 
nihgvdsd na kadarthayanti madhurdm bimbadharasya dyutim 
iasyds tvadvirahe vipakvalavalildvanyasamvddini 

chdyd kdpi kapolayor anudinam tanvydh param gugyatu 

* In separation from thee the streams of her tears rob not her 
moon-like face of its charming beauty, nor do her sighs diminish 

* F, W. Thomas, Kavindravacanasamuccaya^ pp. 47 ff. 


the sweet loveliness of her Bimba-like lip ; but the slender 
maiden’s cheeks show day by day a lessening of that bright 
colour which was wont to vie with the glory of the ripe Laval!.’ 
Too great beauty is evil : 

Idvanyadravinavyayo na ganitah klego ntahdn svikrtah 

svacchandasya stikham janasya vasatag cintdjvaro nirmitah 
e^dpi svayam eva tulyaramandbhdvdd vardkl hatd 
ho Wthag cetasi vedhasd vinihitas tanvyds ianuni tanvatd? 

* He counted not the wealth of beauty which he spent nor the 
greatness of his effort ; he made her a fever of sorrow for men 
that dwell in blissful ease ; she herself is doomed to misery since 
she cannot find her peer; what, pray, was the purpose of the 
creator when he framed that slender maiden’s body?’ Ksemendra, 
who gives us the verse, reprobates the jingle in tanvydh^ which 
seems captious. 

The art of building a stanza with a limited number of letters^ 
leads, as we have seen both in Bharavi and Magha, to tasteless 
extravagance, but it can be used without any lack of effect, as in 
the following stanza ascribed to ?a9vata : 

SCI fHC scifHdsatno tftdsah sa me mdsasamd samd 
yo ydtayd tayd ydtt yd ydiy dydtayd tayd, 

‘ That month seems to me a year which passes when she is gone ; 
that year seems as a month which goes when she returns.’ 
Epigrams are not rare : 

vydkaranasinhabhltd apagabdamrgdh kva vicareyuh 
g^runatadaivajnabhisakgrotriyamukhagahvardniyadi na synh ? 

‘ In dread of the lions of grammar, where could the deer of bar- 
barisms flee, were there not the caverns of the mouths of teachers 
actors, astrologers, doctors, and priests?’ One lady finds fault 
with a perfect spouse : 

anekair nayakagimaih sahitah sakhi me patih 
sa eva yadi jarah syat sapkalaih jlidiam bhavet. 

‘ My husband, o friend, has all the virtues of a stage hero ; now 

> Var^niyama -, cf. KHvySdarfa, Hi. 83 ff.; Magha, aix. 100, loa, 10,, 106, 114. 


if only he were my lover, my happiness would be perfect.’ The 
doctor fares badly : 

vaidyanatha namas tubhyam k^apiid(esamdnava 
tvayi vinyastabkdro 'yam kridntah sukham edkate. 

‘ Best of physicians, homage be thine for thy slaying of mankind ; 
on thee Death lays all his burden and lives in happy ease.’ The 
note in the following is lighter : 

ddhajvarena me mdndyam vada vaidya him ausadham 
piba madyam gardvena mamdpy dnaya karparam. 

‘ I am outworn by heat and fever ; tell me, doctor, what remedy 
is there.” “ Drink wine by the bowl and bring me too a glass.” * 
Of the art of Samasyapurana we have an excellent example 
in the stanza ascribed by Ksemendra to Kumaradasa. which 
embodies the line mentioned in the Mahdbhdsya : ’ 

ayi vijahlhi drdhopaguhanam ; tyaja navasamgamabhiru vallabhe 
arunakarodgama esa vartate : varatanu sampravadanti kukkutdh. 

‘ Loved one, timid in our first joy of love, relax thy clinging grasp 
and let me go ; do not the cocks, fair one, proclaim in unison the 
advent of ruddy dawn ? ’ It is characteristic that Haradatta in 
the Padamanjart^ a comment on the Kdgika Vrtti^ gives an 
entirely different three lines, while Rayamukuta makes BhSlravi 
the author of the stanza given as Kumaradasa’s by Ksemendra. 
In the curious tale of Kalidasa’s death* we learn that king 
Kumaradasa wrote on the wall of a hetaira’s house the half- 
verse : 

kamale kamalotpattih gruyate na ca drgyote 

offering a reward for a completion which KalidSsa, to his undoing, 
provided in : 

hale tava mukhdmbhoje katham indivaradvayamf 

* It is said, but never seen, that a lotus grows on a lotus. How 
then, damsel, is there seen on the lotus of thy face a pair of blue 

' Peterson, JHRAS. xvi. T70; Nandargikar, Kumaradasa^ pp. xxflf. 

* Nandargikar, <>/. cit.^ pp. iiiff. The verse needs amendment as above. Hara- 
datta’s date is traditionally 878 A. D. ; ^eshagiri, Report^ *893-4, pp. i3ff. 




lotuses ? ’ To gain the reward the graceless woman slew the poet, 
but the king recognized the hand of his friend and forced from 
her the truth, burning himself in sorrow in the pyre which con- 
sumed Kalidasa's body. 

2. Religious Poetry 

The production of hymns of praise to the gods naturally did 
not cease with the Vedic poets, though the gradual change of 
religion evoked an alteration in the gods who received adoration ; 
beside old gods such as <piva, Visnu, and Surya, whose worship 
was perhaps from time to time strengthened by the influx of sun- 
worshippers from Iran, especially after the Mahomedan conquest 
of Persia, there appear newer figures in the pantheon such as Krsna, , 
Rama, and Durga, who in fact is often a local deity covered by 
the decent robe of Qiva s dread spouse. The epic shows the 
existence of such hymns, the Puranas and Tantras afford many 
specimens of them, while collections of a hundred or a thousand 
names of a god or goddess became numerous. But naturally the 
higher poetry invaded this field also, and the fact that philo- 
sophers were not unwilling to take part in the composition of 
Stotras, songs of praise, to the gods whose reality they recog- 
nized as emphatically for empirical purposes as they denied it 
transcendentally, lent dignity to the art. The number of Stotras 
preserved is vast, but many are of no poetic worth, many of very 
late date, and a still larger number cannot be assigned to any 
definite period in the absence of external evidence, and the rarity 
of finding any individual note in their rather stereotyped form 
and style. 

Of early efforts to elaborate this kind of poetry we have the 
Candlgataka^ of Bana, a collection of 102 stanzas, chiefly in 
Sragdhara metre, in honour of Qiva’s consort and in special of 
her feat in slaying the demon Mahisa ; the poem serves also as a 
prayer, as she is invoked to protect her worshippers. Bana does 
not impress us with any sincerity of devotion, and the poem, 
though laboured and sometimes clever, has little of the attrac- 
tion of his romances; his demerits appear clearly enough in 

• See G. P. Qnackenbos, The Samirit Teems of MayRra (1917), who edited and 
translated BSinta's and MayQra^s works. 


a couple of stanzas which the anthologies cite as possessing 
merit ; 

vidrdne rudravptde savitari tarale vajrini dhvastavajre 
jdtdgahke fagahke viramati viaruti tyaktavaire kuvere 
vaikuftthe kunthitdsire tnahisam akirusain pcturu^opaghnanighnam 
nirvigknafh nighnati vah gaviayatn duritam bhUriblidvd 

‘When the Marut horde fled, Savitr trembled, Indra dropped 
his thunderbolt, the moon was smitten by fear, the wind ceased 
to blow, Kuvera fled the field, and Visnu flung aside his blunted 
dart, easily she smote down that Mahisa who had the fierceness 
of a snake and prided himself on his manhood ; may she, the 
wondrous BhavanI, remove your misfortunes.* 
namas itmga^iragciimbicandracdvtaracdrave 
irailokyanagardrambknmfdasiambhdya Qambhave. 

‘ Homage to the god that bringeth healing, who is made lovely 
by the moon kissing his lofty head and the yak*s tail, the founda- 
tion pillar of the structure of the city of the three worlds.* 
Indian taste preferred to Bana*s Candigaiaka the work of his 
alleged father-in-law or brother-in-law Mayura, of whom we have 
already learned as an erotic poet. The Qataka, which was doubt- 
less composed as a compliment to the devotion of the grandfather 
and father of Harsavardhana to the worship of the sun, whose 
deity was also revered by Harsa despite his Buddhist leanings, 
celebrates in turn the rays of the sun, the horses, the charioteer, 
the chariot, and the great disk itself. There is distinct cleverness 
in many of the thoughts and Mayura*s style is elegant. Aruna 
the charioteer is compared with the actor who speaks the pro- 
logue to the drama, the rays are the ships that carry men over 
the dread ocean of rebirth, the cause of human sorrow, the disk is 
the door to the final release, the sun himself nourishes gods and 
men, upholds cosmic order, and is one with Brahman, Visnu, and 

Mayura was evidently fond of religious poetry, for we have in 
the Subhdsitdvali some verses of double entendre in a speech 
between Qiva and Parvatl : 

candragrahanena vind ndsmi rame kim pravartayasy evam 
devyai yadi ruciiam idant nandinn dhuyatdm Rdhuh, 


‘“Without the stake of the moon (without RShu) I won’t 
play.” “ Why make so much trouble ? If ’tis Devi’s will, why, 
Nandin shall .summon Rahu.’” 

Sropayasi mndka kith naham abhijHa tvadahgasya 
divyam varsasahasram sthitvaiva yuktam abhidhatuvi. 

‘ “ Why misconstrue what I say ? I am not speaking of your 
ornaments.” “ That is a pretty thing for a lady to say who has 
been sitting on my lap for a thousand of the years of heaven.” ’ 
The term ahga permits the equivoke, and in the first stanza the 
use of asmi as a quasi-particle exhibits the grammatical know- 
ledge of the poet. Much more attractive from the poetical point 
of view is a genre picture : 

ahatyahatya mUrdhnd drutant anupibatah prasrmtam maiur 

kintcU kuhcaikajanor anavaratacalaccarupucchasya dhenuk 
utiirnam tarnakasya priyatanayatayd dattahumkdramudra 
vtsrahsikslradhdrdlavagabalamukhasydhgani dtrpti Icdhi, 

‘ While the calf, ever butting with its head, one knee slightly 
bent, and its tail ever moving prettily, sucks its mother’s udder 
whence the milk drips, the cow, lowing softly in delight at her 
child, licks the upturned face of the young one whose mouth is 
flecked by spots from her milk.’ Here we have a complete pic- 
ture presented to our eyes and in a form which English does not 
permit us to approach in beauty. 

Maytlra in many ways may rank as a typical exponent of the 
Gauda .style as pictured by Dandin. He affects epithets more or 
less recondite but etymologically explicable, as in agifiramahas of 
the warm-rayed sun or kemddri of Meru. He is rich in allitera- 
tions and Yamakas, and in addition to metaphors and similes in 
abundance is fond of paronomasias of an elaborate kind, of bom- 
bast and exaggeration, and of the production of effects by the use 
of a series of harsh sounds matching the sense, and the variation 
of sounds within a stanza in order to mark changes of feeling. 
Characteristic cases are : 

glrnaghrdndngkripdnln vranibhir apaghanair gharghardvyak- 

dirghdghrdtdn agkaughaih punar apt ghatayaty eka ulldgkayan 


gharmangos tasya vo ^ntardvigunaghanaghrndnighnanirvighna- 

dattdrghdh siddhasahghair vidadhatu ghrnayah gighram 

‘ The sun alone doth make new and heal those whose multi- 
tude of sins hath made them noseless, handless, footless, with 
ulcerated limbs, gurgling and indistinct speech, and noxious to 
the scent from afar. May his rays, to which hosts of Siddhas 
offer homage, swiftly cause the destruction of your sins, for his 
action knows no obstacles and obeycth only that compassion 
which multiplieth within his heart.’ 

bibhrdnah gaktim dgii pragamitabalavattdrakaurjityagurvhn 
kurvdno lilayddhah gikhinam api lasaccandrakdntdvabhdsam 
ddadhydd andhakdre ratim atigayinim dvahan vik^andndm 
bdlo lakffHim apdrdtn apara iva gt^ho 'karpatcr dtapo vah. 

* May the early light of the lord of day biing you prosperity 
without bounds, like another Guha, bearing with it a power that 
hath soon quenched the pride of many a mighty star (as he a 
spear that quickly overcame the power of the mighty Taraka) ; 
scornfully eclipsing even ihe fire and the splendour of the lovely 
moon (as he rideth a peacock resplendent with the flashing tips 
of the eyes in its tail) ; and may it bring joy untold to the eyes 
of those in the darkness (as he to the eyes of the foe of Andhaka).* 
We find also good instances of the figure Vyatireka, the stating of 
a distinction between things seemingly alike, and Virodha, apparent 
contradiction, the Dipaka, and the Tulyayogita, combination 
of things with the same attributes, as in sadridyurvlnadiga daga 
digah, ‘ the ten quarters with mountains, sky, earth, and oceans 
Grammatical rarities include use oicaturarcam, vibhu in the active, 
the Vedic gam^ while imperatives in /<?/, benedictives, and forms 
like adhijaladki and vitaratitardm are characteristic of the 
Kavya. Bana in the Candigataka shows many of the same 
features, though he does not indulge in the long similes of 
Mayura, but he adds life to his composition by placing about 
half the stanzas in the mouths of his characters, though without 
dialogues ; thus Candl is in ten stanzas the speaker, either taunt- 
ing the gods, rebuking Mahisa, or addressing Qiva ; Mahisa in 
nineteen stanzas derides the gods or reviles Candi ; Jay a. her 


maid, jests, or encourages the gods ; while other speakers include 
^iva, KSrttikeya, the gods, sages, Ca^dl’s foot, and even her toe- 
nails I 

Contemporary of Bana and Mayura at Harsa’s court was, accord- 
ing to tradition preserved by Raja^ekhara, Matahga Divakara,* 
also styled a Candala, though we can hardly suppose that this 
epithet really means that a man of the lowest caste was a peer at 
court of the greater poets. Our remains of him suggest that he 
was a clever courtier, for one verse seems very like a panegyric of 
Harsa, though it has been censured by Abhinavagupta for 
inelegance ; the point, however, of the stanza is probably the 
suggestion that Harsa is sure to have a son who will succeed 
him, as was doubtless, though fruitlessly, his dearest wish : 

dsin ndtha pitamahi tava mahi mdta tato 'nantaram 
satnpraty eva hi sdmburagiragand jaya jayodbhutaye 

purne vargagate bhavigyati punah saivdnavadyd snuga 
yuktatn ndtha samastagastravidugam lokegvardttdtn idatn. 

‘ O king, the earth, sea-girdled, was aforetime thy grandmother, 
then became she thy mother, and now thy spouse to bring thy 
glory to fullness. But when a full hundred years of thy life have 
flown, will she be thy daughter-in-law, for this is the just fate of 
those to whom every science is known.’ 

It has been suggested that this poet is to be identified with the 
Jain writer Manatunga, whose Bhaktdmarastotra^ in honour of 
the Jain saint Rsabha is brought into connexion with Bana and 
Mayura by another tale. Manatunga, it is said, wrote so fine a 
panegyric of the sun that he was saved from leprosy ; then Bana 
in jealousy produced the Candigataka, after cutting off his hands 
and feet, in order that he might exhibit the power of the goddess 
in healing her devotee in gratitude for his eulogy. Manatunga, 
then, to prove the might of the Jinas, had himself fastened with 
forty-two chains and cast into a house ; he uttered his poem of 
praise and was released forthwith. Perhaps the origin of the 
legend is simply the reference in his poem to the power of the 

‘ Cf. Quackenbos, MayUra^ pp. lo f. 

* Ed. and tran». H. Jacobi, IS. xir. Quackenbos (p. i8) dates him far too 




Jina to save those in fetters, doubtless metaphorically applied to 
the bonds holding men to carnal life. Manatunga may have 
been a contemporary of fiana, but his date may well fall from 150 
to 2CO years later. He is no mean poet and certainly a master 
of the intricacies of the Kavya style. Rsabha is extolled as 
Buddha, ^ahkara, the creator, Purusottama ; hundreds of mothers 
bear hundreds of sons, but none a son like him ; stars there are 
in every region of the sky, but only the east brings forth the sun. 
The merits of his style are obvious when contrasted with the 
elaboration of the forty-four stanzas of the Kalydnantandira^ 
stotra ^ of Siddhasena Divakara, written in deliberate imitation. 
Other Jain Stotras are of even less poetical value. 

To Harsavardhana are ascribed certain Buddhist hymns, com- 
posed, we may presume, in the last years of his reign, including 
the Astamahd^rlcaiiyasiotra ^ and the Suprabhdtastotra^ which 
has also been ascribed to (Jriharsa, of the Nai^adhiya, A later 
writer, Sarvajfiamitra, is the author of the Sragdhardstotra ^ to 
Tara, who became a very favourite deity among the theistic 
school of Buddhism as the mother-goddess and saviour. The 
legend runs that having been rich he took to religion and thus 
became poor. Meeting a Brahmin who begged him for money 
to secure his daughter a wedding, he offered himself to a king 
who desired a hundred men for a human sacrifice, but moved by 
the sorrows of his fellow sufferers composed the poem and won 
through Tara's intervention the lives of all. Other Stotras of 
doubtful age are numerous, but it can hardly be said that they 
reach any high level of poetry, though some of them certainly 
bear every sign of true religious feeling. 

It is difficult to realize that a religious motive is also present 
in the Vakroktipanedgikd ^ of the Kashmirian poet Ratnakara, who 
in fifty stanzas shows a remarkable power of illustrating the 
ambiguities of which the Sanskrit language is capable. The fol- 
lowing example is moderately simple. Parvati addresses ^iva : 

* Ed. and trans, IS. xiv. 376 ff.; cf. lA. xlii. 42 ff. 

* L^vi, OC. X, ii. 189^. ; Ettinghausen, Harsa-Vardhana^ pp. I76ff. 

* Thomas, JR AS. 1903, pp. 703-22. For anthology and inscriptional verses see 
Jackson, Priyadariikd^ pp. xliiiff, and references. 

* .‘^ee G. de Blonay, La dJesse bouddhique Tdrd (1895) ; HIrananda, dlcm. Arch. 
Survey India^ no. 20. 

* KM. i. 101-14; Bemheimer, ZDMG. Ixiii. 816 ff. 


tvaik mt nabhintato bhav&mi sutanu fvofrva avagyam matah 
s&dh^ktam bhavati na me rucita ity atra bruve 'ham punah 
mugdhe nasmi namerutta natiu citalf. prekgasva mam pdtu vo 
vakroktyett haro htmacalabhuvant smerananam mitkayatt, 

‘ “ I love thee no more.” “ ’Tis true, slender one, (your con- 
nexions approve me), for my mother-in-law adores me." 
" Neatly said, but I repeat a second time : Thou art not pleasant 
in my eyes. “ But, dear one, just look ; I am not adorned with 
the Nameru flowers. ’ So ^iva silenced the smiling mouth of 
the daughter of the Himalaya with his equivoke ; may he be 
gracious to you. The first pun here depends on the ambiguity 
of nabhimato, the second simply on the fact that (Jiva interprets 
ncL fH€ ructtas as namerutta citas. We must suppose that Ratna- 
kara felt that, as men delight in these refinements, so the offering 
of his poem to the gods would evoke their pleasure. His epic 
gives no ground to doubt the sincerity of his devotion to ?iva. 

A lyric poet of much fervour and no mean accomplishment 
must be recognized in the philosopher Qankara,» if we can trust 
the tradition which ascribes to him many hymns, especially to 
Devi, the mother-goddess, whom the Qaktas adored as the expres- 
sion of the highest power in the universe. Sankara’s doctrine of 
the two aspects of truth, the higher and the lower, permitted him 
to adopt to the full popular beliefs and to express his feelings in 
a way acceptable to other than metaphysicians, and there is no 
reason whatever to doubt that he composed such poems. It is, 
of course, a different thing to say which of those allotted to him 
by tradition were really his. A solemn warning of the passing of 
time is given in the ^ivdparadhakgamapanastotra : 

ayur nagyatt pagyatdm pratidinam ydti kgayam yauvanam 
pratyaydnti gatah punar na divasdh kalo jagadbhakfakah 
lakgmls toyatarahgabhahgacapald vidyuccalam jivitam 
yasmdn mam garanagatam garanada tvam rakga rakgddhuna. 

' Life perisheth daily before our eyes, youth departeth ; the 
days departed never return again, time consumeth the world ; 
fortune is as transient as a ripple on the waves of the ocean ; life 

• S. V>nk«tar«m«.«i, Stltct IVoris of Srisankaratharya, ,nd the Brhahtotrara,. 


as unstable as the lightning ; guard, guard me to-day who am 
come to thee for safety, o giver of peace.’ More prosaic is the 
address to Kfs^a : 

vina yasya dhyanam vrajati pafutam s&karamukham 
vtna yasya jnanam janimrtibhayam yati janata 
vina yasya sntrtyd krtnifatajanim yati sa vibhuh 
garanyo lokego mama bhavatu Krgno 'ksivigayah. 

If man meditates not on him, he becomes a beast, boar or 
another ; if he knows him not, birth, death, fear are his portion; 
if he think not of him, a hundred lives as a worm await him ; let 
him, lord of the world, my salvation, Krsna, show himself to his 
worshipper.* The utter emptiness of existence is brilliantly in- 
sisted upon in the rimed Dvddagapahjarikdstotra : 

md kurujana dhanayauvanagarvam harati nimegdt kdlak sarvam 
mdydmayam tdam akhtlam httvd brahmapadaih tvam praviga 

Place no pride, o man, in youth, or wealth ; in the twink- 
ling of an eye time taketh all away ; deem all this world to be 
but an illusion, and with true knowledge attain the abode of the 
absolute. Devotion and confidence reach their height of expres- 
sion in the Devyaparddhakgamdpanastotra : 

vidher ajndnena dravinavirahendlasatayd 
vidheydgakyatvdt iava caranayor yd cyutir abhut 
tad etat ksdntavyam janani sakalalokoddhdrini give 
kuputro jdyeta kvacid api kumdtd na bhavati. 

‘ If I have failed to pay due honour to thy feet through ignor- 
ance of thy commands, through lack of wealth, laziness or inca- 
pacity, forgive my transgression, o mother, o gracious one, o trust 
of all the world ; a son may be bad, but never a mother.* 

prthivydm putrds te janani bahavah santi saraldh 
param iegdm madhye viralataralo ^ham tava sutah 

madlyo 'yam tydgah samucitam idam no tava give: kuputro 

* Many good sons are thine on earth, o mother, few indeed 
fickle as I ; yet to abandon me, o gracious one, were not meet for 
thee ; a son may be bad, but never a mother.* 

3 i 8 


Among many others a Bhavdnya^taka and the Anandalaharl 
in twenty ^ikharipl verses are ascribed to ?ankara, while other 
famous hymns to Devi include the Ambd^taka and the Panca- 
stavl, five hymns to Durga of unknown authorship. To Kali- 
dasa are ascribed, without any plausibility, various Stotras, 
including the ^yamalddandaka mainly in prose, the Sarasvaii- 
stotra And the Man^aldftaka, which can be reconstructed from 
the Tibetan of the Tanjur. A hymn in 500 stanzas, the Panca- 
gait, is ascribed to a mysterious Muka, alleged to be contempo- 
raneous with ^ankara, but this is very dubious. We are on much 
firmer ground regarding the Devlgataka of Anandavardhana the 
writer on poetics {c. 850), whose hundred very elaborate stanzas 
hardly conform to his own theory that the poet who pays too 
much attention to ornament falls into the error of n^lecting the 
suggestion which should underlie poetry, but the deviation is 
excused by his own admission that in panegyrics of the gods the 
sentiment is of secondary importance. But it must be added that 
Anandavardhana is not a great or perhaps even a good poet, 
confirming the adage that critics seldom are. Utpaladeva’s 
Stotrdvali was written about 925 ; it consists of a series of twenty 
short hymns in honour of ?iva, some mere innovations, some 
more elaborate, but none of outstanding merit. In the same 
century probably the Vaisnava Kula^ekhara wrote in honour of 
Vispu his Mukundamald \ it is interesting to find a verse cited in 

an inscription of a place so distant as Pagan in the thirteenth 

In the eleventh century Llla9uka or Bilvamangala * produced 
his Kffnakarndmrta or Kr^nalildmrta, no stanzas in honour of 
Krspa, a poem which has been very popular in India, while the 
anthologies cite verses from him. One exhibits fairly the merits 
of his simple and not unattractive style : 

tvctth ftavdyciHvuHo si cupuldh pTdycHci gopdhgctndh 
Kahso bhupattr abjandlabhxduragrtvd vayam godtthah 
tad y ace 'njalind bhavantam adhund vrnddvanam mad vind 
md ydsir Ut gopanandavacasd namro Harih pdtu vah. 

' May Hari guard you, Hari who bowed low in obedience when 
the cowherd Nanda thus entreated him ; “ O Krsna, thou art in 

* For legend! of him, see ^eshagiri, Report^ 1893-4, PP« 57 f. 


the freshness of youth, our maidens are mostly fickle, Kansa is 
king, and we herders have necks as frail as the lotus stalk ; with 
folded hands I entreat thee not to go without me to the Vrnda- 
vana wood 

In the twelfth century we have eulogies of Krsna from the 
poets who were contemporary jewels with Jayadeva at the court 
of Laksmanasena. They are preserved in the Padydvali of Rupa- 
gosvamin, well known as an ardent devotee and follower of Cai- 
tanya. To Laksmanasena himself is ascribed an amusing verse ; 

dhutddya mayotsave nift grham f unyam vimucydgatd 
ksibah presyajanah kathani kulavadhur ekdkini ydsyati 
vatsa tvain tad imdm naydlayam iti grntvd Ya^oddgiro 
Rddhdmddhavayor jayanti madhiirasmerdlasd drstayah. 

She was told by me to come to the festival to-day ; now she 
has come at night, leaving the house empty ; the servants are 
drunk ; how can a lady of family go alone ? Dear child, take her 
safely home*’, so said Ya 9 oda, and, hearing her bidding, there 
passed smiling looks of joyful weariness between Radha and 
Madhava/ Umapatidhara,' whom Jayadeva records as skilled 
in the use of recondite language, an assertion abundantly estab- 
lished by the array of rare words or meanings found in a Pra- 
9asti of his which has come down to us, is credited with a quite 
amusing picture of a bedroom scene between Krsna and his wife, 
who had a good deal to complain of in his amourettes : 

nirmagnena maydmbhasi pranayatah pdli samdlihgitd 
kendlikam idam iavddya kathitam Rcld/ie mudd tdmyasi 
ity utsvapnaparampardsu ^ayane grutvd vacaJi gdrhgino 
Rukminyd githillkriah sakapatam kanthagrahah pdtu vak. 

‘ ** Who has told thee this falsehood, that the moment I plunged 
into the water I clipped close a maiden in love ? Thou troublest 
thyself needlessly, o Radha” ; so Rukmini heard her lord Krsna 
murmur in his dream as they lay side by side, and feigned to 
loosen his hold on her neck ; be that your protection/ 

Of Parana, Jayadeva tells us that he was worthy of praise for 

* See Pischel, Die Hofdichter des Laksmanasena (1893), Dhol’s PavanadUta^ in 
which a Gandharva maiden sends a message to Laksmanasena, Is based on the 
Afeghaduia ; see M. Chakra varti, JPASB. 1905, pp. 41-71. 



his skill in producing extempore poetry which was hard to under- 
stand {durUhadruta)^ a term which will appear as the compli- 
ment it was meant to be, if we remember that Sanskrit poets 
were equally proud of their ability to compose on a given theme, 
taking as given a verse or part of it, and of the fact that their 
works were highly finished products which required for due com- 
prehension and appreciation full knowledge of metre, poetics, 
lexi^^raphy, and grammar. The epithet is borne out by the 
verses we have, for they are frequently undeniable imitations of 
others, as in the following elaboration of a simple stanza ascribed 
to Amaru : 

Murdrim pafyantydh sakhi sakalam angam na nayanam 
kftafk yac chrnvatyd Harigunaganam (rotranicitam 

samam tendldpam sapadi racayantyd mukhamayam 
vidhdtur naivdyam ghatanaparipdtlmadhurimd. 

‘ O friend, when I saw Murari, that my whole body did not 
become one eye ; when I heard him, that I became not a multi- 
tude of ears ; when I spoke with him, that I became not one 
mouth ; that indeed is but a sorry work of the creator's devising.’ 

Dhoyl or Dhoi seems to have had the epithets Qrutadhara or 
^Irutidhara, perhaps ‘ strong in memory and Kaviraja, and the 
stanzas cited under these three names appear to belong to one 
and the same poet. There is an amusing touch in one cited by 
Rupagosvamin from Kaviraja : 

kvdnanam kva nayanam kva ndsikd : kva frutih kva ca 
fikheti defitah 

tatra fair a vihitdhgulidalo : ballavikulam anandayat prabhuk. 

* “ Where is my face ? Where my eye ? Where my nose ? 
Where my ear ? Where my braid ? ” Thus bidden the lord 
touched each with his flower finger, and thus he delighted the 

Of many other poems mention may be made of the Mahimnah- 
stava * which is a eulogy of Qiva but which has been treated 

^ Srish Chandra Chakravarti {Bhdsavrni, p. 7) refert the term to Caranadeva, 
author of the Durghatavftti ; durUh^Svj^a occurs in an epithet of VSmana in the 
BukmiiflkalydHa [^Madras Caial,^ xx. 7850). 

• Often printed in India. It is died by RSjafekhara. 


also as intended to glorify Visnu, ascribed to Puspadanta — which 
may, of course, not be a true name — because the work seems to 
be known to the Nydyamahjari of Jayanta Bhat^a, and therefore 
must not be later than the ninth century. As curious develop- 
ments — probably late— of religious fervour may be noted the 
^andlkucapancdfikd,^ fifty stanzas on the breasts of Candl, by 
a certain Laksmana Acarya, and the Bhiksdtanakdvya * by 
^ivadasa or Utpreksavallabha, which describes the feelings of 
Apsarases when Qiva. in the garb of an ascetic comes to seek 
alms in Indra's heaven. The author with amazing taste takes 
this means of displaying his intimate acquaintance with the rules 
of the Kdmasutra as to the deportment of women in love. 

Some fine religious stanzas are preserved in the anthologies : 

yadi ndsini mahdpdpl yadi ndsmi bhaydkulah 
yadi nendriyasanisakias tat ko 'rthah (arane mama. 

‘ If I were not a great sinner, if I were not sore afraid, if I were 
not devoted to things of sense, then what need would I have of 
salvation ? * This is ascribed to Bhatta Sunandana, else imknowm 
to fame. Equally unknown is Gangadatta who writes : 

abhidhdvati mdtn mrtyur ayam udgurnamudgarak 
krpanam pundartkdksa raksa mam farandgatam. 

‘ Death draweth on, with weapon upraised to smite ; o lotus- 
eyed one, protect thy pitiful suppliant,' Anonymous is a pretty 
picture of the child god : 

kardravindena padaraviudam : mukhdravinde nivefayantam 

agvatthapattrasya pute gaydnam : bdlam Mukundaik satatam 

‘With his lotus hand placing the lotus of his foot in his lotus 
mouth as he lies in a cradle of A^vattha leaves, our baby 
Mukunda is my thought for ever.' A Vikramaditya is among 
these poets of religion, but it is impossible to determine his iden- 
tity ; the various verses ascribed to him are hardly by one hand.* 

* Ed. KM. ix. Soff. (eighty>thrce ftanzas in all). 

* See IOC. i. 1448 f. 

* For an eloquent appreciation of the Stotrai fee Sivaprasad Bbattacharyya, IHQ. 

340 ff. 



3 . Anthologies 

Of both lyric and gnomic poets whose works are lost, we derive 
knowledge from the anthologies, which have yielded many of the 
citations of fine lines already made. Themselves often of com- 
paratively late date, they preserve the work of much earlier poets, 
though unhappily in many cases of the authors mentioned we 
have no means of determining the period of their activity. Of 
these anthologies the oldest apparently is that edited by Dr. 
F. VV. Thomas as the Kavindravacanasamuccaya^ from a 
Nepalese MS. of the twelfth century. Sections on the Buddha 
and Avalokite9vara remind us of its provenance, but otherwise it 
contains the same material as the other texts, verses on a wide 
variety of subjects, love and other passions, the conduct of life, 
practical wisdom, and moral and political maxims. None of the 
poets who composed its 525 stanzas is later than 1000 A.D. Of 
the next century (1205) is the Saduktikarnamrta^ or Suktu 
karnainrtay of (pridharadasa, son of Vatudasa, both servants of 
Laksmanasena of Bengal, an anthology including excerpts from 
^46 poets, largely of course of Bengal, including Gangadhara and 
five others who can be placed in the period 1050-1150. Jalhana, 
son of Laksmideva, and, like his father, minister of Krsna who 
ascended the throne in 1247, wrote the Subhd^itamuktdvall^ 
which has come down in a longer and a shorter recension. It is 
carefully arranged according to such subjects as riches, generosity, 
fate, sorrow, love, royal service, &c., and is especially valuable in 
its section on poets and poetry which gives us definite informa- 
tion on a number of authors. 

One of the most famous anthologies is that of ^arngadhara, 
written in 1363 by the son of Damodara. It is arranged in 163 
sections, and contains 4689 stanzas, including some by the author 
himself but of no distinction. With the aid of the Qdrhgadhara- 
paddkati^ Vallabhadeva perhaps in the fifteenth century put 

* BI. 1913. 

* BI 1913 ff . ; Aufrecht, ZDMG. xxxvi. 361 ff. 

* Bhandarkar, Report^ 1887-91, pp i-liv. According to (Ttf/j/,, xx. 81 14 it 

was written for Jalha in 1357 by Vaidya Bhann Pan^ita. 

^ Ed, P. Peterson, BSS. 37, 1888 ; cf. Aufrecht, ZDMG. xxv. 455 fT. ; xxvii. j ff. 


together the Subkdsitdvali'^ in 101 sections, giving 3527 stanzas 
of over 350 poets ; the name occurs of Vallabhadeva among the 
poets, but it is not clear whether he claims the verses as his own or 
merely cites an earlier work. Of the fifteenth century is ^rivara's 
Subhdsitdvall’^ ] Qiivara was son or pupil of Jonaraja, who was 
a commentator and also continued Kalhana's Rdjatarahgini, and 
he cites from more than 380 poets. As we have seen, Rupago- 
svamin’s Padydvall ^ contains verses in honour of Krsna, some of 
considerable merit, from a wide range of authors. Of other 
anthologies, small and great, many exist in manuscript or in 

4. Prakrit Lyrics 

Contemporaneously with the progress of the Sanskrit lyric, 
there was proceeding the development of a lyric in Prakrit, which 
later passed into Apabhran^a probably as a result of the achieve- 
ments of the Abhiras and the Gurjaras who, though known 
earlier, flooded India about the time of the Huna invasions and, 
unlike the Hilnas, settled down and definitely affected the culture 
of the country. The two streams of lyric cannot have existed 
without coming into contact, but there is singularly little sign of 
serious influence on either side in the early period of the develop- 
ment Prakrit lyric as we have it in the Sattasai comes 
before us with a definite character of its own which is not repro- 
duced in Sanskrit, though Govardhana in his Saptafati deliber- 
ately attempts to imitate it. 

Of the date of Hala it is impossible to be certain. The 
mechanical method ® of assuming that he is to be looked for in 
the list of Satavahana kings and placing him in the first or 
second century A.D., because he ought to come about the middle 

^ Ed. P. Peterson and Durgaprasada, BSS. 1886 ; cf. I A. xv. 340 ff. ; IS. xvi. 209 f. ; 
xvii. 168 ff. Another woik of 323 or so stanzas by Sumati is described in IOC. i. 

15,^3 ff. 

* Peterson, OC. VI, iii. ii. 539. 

^ IOC. i. 1534 ff. {c. 387 stanzas). 

* Sayana wrote a Subhdsitasudhanidhi {Madras CataL^ xx. 8105(1.); Vedanta- 
de9ika a SubkdsUanivt^ KM. viii. 151 ff. 

* Ed. and trans. A. Weber, AKM. v (1870) and vii (1881); IS. xvi; with Ganga- 
dhara’s comm., KM. 31, 1889. The ascription of verses in the commentators varies 
greatly and is probably worthless. Cf. Winternitz, GIL. iii. 97 ff. 

* Cf. EHI. p. 230 ; El. xii. 330. We find in herd (435) and amgdraavdra (261) 
knowledge of Greek astrology. 


of the list, and the dynasty extended on one view from r. 240 or 
2130 B.C. to A.D. 22 js,ia clearly fallacious. What is much more impor- 
tant is that, to judge from the evidence of the Prakrits of A9va- 
ghosa and the inscriptions, the weakening of consonants which is 
the dominant feature of Maharastrl cannot have set in as we find it 
in Hala until about A.D. aoo. This make it likely that the poetry 
was produced in the period from a.d. 200 to 450,' though we have 
no assurance of the date. Moreover, only 430 stanzas have a place 
in all the recensions, so that we must admit that there has been 
extensive interpolation. It is possible, even probable, that in its 
origin the Sattasal was no mere anthology, but a careful collec- 
tion of verses largely his own or refashioned by himself— -much 
as Burns refashioned some of his material — on the basis of older 
verses, and that in course of time by interpolation and change 
the collection lost much of its individuality. Even as it is, it 
has a spirit of closeness to life and common realities which is 
hardly to be seen in Sanskrit poetry. This may be a charac- 
teristic of the MahSras^ra people who even to-day have'a certain 
homeliness and rough good sense. But it must not be supposed 
that the Sattasal is folk-poetry ; the dialect is artificial, more so 
in some ways than Sanskrit, but it is the work of a poet or poets 
who wished really to express the feelings, as well as describe the 
externals, of the people of the land, the cowherds and cow- 
herdesses, the girl who tends the garden or grinds corn at the 
mill, the hunter, the handworker. The prevailing tone is gentle 
and pleasing, simple loves set among simple scenes, fostered by 
the seasons, for even winter brings lowers closer together, just as 
a rain-storm drives them to shelter with each other. The maiden 
begs the moon to touch her with the rays which have touched her 
beloved ; she begs night to stay for ever, since the morn is to see 
her beloved's departure. The lover in turn bids the thunder and 
lightning do their worst on him, if they but spare her whom he 
loves. The tenderness of the poet shows itself when he tells how 
a wife, rejoicing at her husband’s return, yet hesitates to don 
festal array lest she embitter the grief of her poor neighbour, 
whose husband yet delays his home-coming. The note of pathos 
is not absent ; when of two who have long shared joy and sorrow 

^ Cf. LOders, Bruchstiickt buddh. Dramen^ p. 64 ; Jacobi, Ausg. Erzahlungen in 
MdkdrdsAfrf, pp. aivff. 


together one dies, he alone is really alive, it is the other who 
dies ; there is a distant parallel, not borrowing, in Bhavabhuti*s 
line, * He is not dead of whom a beloved thinks.’ But absence 
may be a joy where the heart is false ; the faithless one bemoans 
her unprotected state, and begs her friend to come to her home, 
merely to secure her safety, Men entendu. 

The varied forms of Indian love are brilliantly portrayed : from 
the real devotion when each looks into the other’s eyes, and the 
twain are made one for the moment, to the domestic joys of 
wedded life, as when mama laughs as the little boy crawls on his 
father’s back, when he lies at her feet in penitence for some fault, 
or when she shows the delighted papa the first tooth of their 
darling. The biting and scratching of Indian love are frankly 
depicted as well as the beauties of the maidens whose swelling 
bosoms are compared with the moon breaking through the cloud. 
Much is from the life of the village, but we hear also of the 
demi-monde of the towns, whose presence Pischel found in the 
Rgveda and which certainly has marked Indian literature ever 
since the Vedic age. 

Pictures of nature, sometimes as influenced by love, sometimes 
independently, are frequent and charming, echoing some of the 
thoughts of the Therigdtkdsin which Buddhist nuns express their 
close observation of nature. Autumn, the rainy season, summer, 
and spring all evoke effective sketches ; bees hover over flowers, 
the peacock and the crows enjoy the pelting rain, the female 
antelope seeks longingly her mate, male and female ape lend 
comedy. Gnomic sayings are not rare, and often very pithy ; a 
miser’s money is as useful to him as his shadow to a traveller ; 
only the deaf and the blind have a good time in the world, for the 
former do not hear harsh words, the latter do not see hateful 
faces. Other elements in the collection are fragments, dramatic 
or epic, or episodes of the folk-tale, as when we hear of a lady in 
captivity awaiting a rescuer, or women captured by robbers, or a 
naughty wife who pretends to be bitten by a scorpion in order to 
go to the house of the doctor who loves her. How far back go 
these fragments we do not know ; our lower date for Hala is 
purely speculative, though Bana knew his collection, and even 
then we have no security for the existence even in Bana’s time 
of any particular part. 




A later Prakrit anthology is the Vajjalagga ' of Jayavallabha, 
a ^vctambara Jain, of uncertain date, who deliberately collects 
matter to illustrate the three ends of man, conduct, practical 
wisdom, and love ; to the latter topic falls two-thirds of the 
whole. The stanzas are in Arya metre, and the Maharastrl shows 
signs of influence by Apabhranga. Apabhran5a lyric stanzas are 
given in some numbers by Hemacandra * to illustrate the type of 
PrSkrit which he styles Apabhrahja. They are of much the 
same character as those of Hala. A damsel begs that her love 
be brought to her ; a fire may bum down the house, but still 
men must have a fire. Another rejoices that her lover has fallen 
bravely in the field ; hers had been the shame, had he returned 
dishonoured. The respect for a mother is prettily inculcated by 
the words of Vyasa and the great sages who equate falling at 
the mother’s feet in humble devotion with the act of bathing in the 
sacred waters of the Ganges. 

1 J. Laber, Vbtr das Vajjdlaggam (1913) ; Jacobi, Bhavisaitakaha^ p. 61. It ia 
being edited in DI. 

> Piiehel, AGGW. v. 4 (190a). 


I . Gnomic Poetry 

I NDIA has always delighted in the expression in verse of 
pithy observations on life and morals. We find the begin- 
nings of such poetry in the Rgvedus moral stanzas are pre- 
served incidentally in surprising number in an episode of the 
Aitareya Brdhmana, such verses appear in the Upanisads and 
the Sutras, while the Mahdbhdrata is only too rich both in 
gnomai and in didactic matter; philosophy, morals, practical 
advice for life, and rules of polity in the widest sense of that term, 
including the conduct of war, are flung at the reader in undigested 
masses. There is evidence from Patanjali that he knew such 
a literature, and in the Dhainmapada of the Pali canon we have 
the finest collection of sententiae known in India. 

These maxims were not, of course, popular in the full sense of 
that term ; they are not to be compared to proverbs racy of the 
soil preserved in their primitive form ; they are, as in the maxims 
of Phokylides in Greece, the turning of the raw material by poets 
into finished products, and the perfection of their finish varies 
greatly. Some of them, doubtless, first became current in litera- 
ture through having been composed or adopted by writers of the 
fable literature, others merely passed current from mouth to 
mouth until efforts were made by compilers to collect such 
popular currency. We need not doubt that the collector became 
normally an inventor at the same time. We can, indeed, hardly 
imagine that it would be otherwise; that would assuredly be 
a more than normally stilpid person who could not on the 
models he had devise a fresh series of maxims, or at least 
remould the old. We see, in fact, the process at work in the 
case of the collections^ which pass under a variety of names such 

* O. Kressicr, Siimmen indischer Lebenskltigheii (i907)* There aie Tibetan (SBA. 
1895, p. 375) and Arabic versiong (Zachariae, VVZKM. xxviii. i82ff.); for Galanoi’ 
source see Bolling, JAOS. xli. 49 (f. 

Q a 

228 GNOMIC AIA) didactic POETRY 

as Rajanltisamuccaya^ Cdnakyaniti^ Cdnakyardjanitiy Vrddha- 
Cdmkya, Laghu-Cdnakya^ and so on. The number of recensions 
is extremely large— seventeen have been distinguished and doubt- 
less there are more, for often each manuscript shows distinct 
variations from any other ; the compilers were eclectic, they had 
many sources open, and it is now quite impossible to determine 
anything like the original shape of the collection. That it was 
composed by Canakya, the minister of Candragupta, is absurd ; 
it is perfectly clear that it was passed off under his name because 
he was famous. We do not even know whether the first stanza 
in some recensions which promises a treatise on Rajaniti, the 
conduct of princes, can be taken as indicating that originally the 
collection dealt with that subject alone. At any rate the number 
of verses which can be assigned to that topic in extant recensions 
is negligible, and it seems much more likely that the stanza is 
the product of the imagination of some one who wished to give 
the collection a closer appearance of connexion with the minister. 
The book in its various forms varies enormously; thus one 
recension has 340 stanzas in seventeen chapters of equal length ; 
another by Bhojaraja, preserved in a manuscript in (^arada 
characters, has 576 verses in eight chapters. Its contents deal 
with general rules for the conduct of life, for intercourse among 
men, general reflections on richness and poverty, on fate and 
human effort, on a variety of ethical and religious topics. In the 
main the stanzas are not connected by any bond of thought, but 
there are exceptions. Here and there verses are clearly meant 
to be antithetical. In one passage we find a continuation of the 
habit, seen in full development in such works as the Pali Ahgtittara 
Nikdya and the Jain Sthdndhga^Xo use numerical formulae to fix 
matters in the memory. Here the^ise man is bidden to learn 
one thing from the Hon, one from the heron, four from the cock, 
five from the crow, six from the dog, and three from the ass. In 
another group of seven verses the different kinds of Brahmin are 
expounded, the holy seer, the normal Brahmin, the Vai5ya, who 
lives by trade or agriculture, the ^udra who sells inter alia meat 
and drink, the cat who is treacherous, the barbarian who is 
destructive, and the Candala who is a thief and adulterer. There 
are certain quite common mannerisms in the collection such as 
the insistence on the use of numbers to give the total of groups 


sometimes of homogeneous, but also often of quite disparate 
things, as when one is warned not to abide in a place where there 
IS not a king a rich man. a learned man, a river, and a doctor. 
So we have a Jist of six bad things : 

(u^kam mdhsam striyo vrddha bdlarkas tarunam dadhi 
prabhate maithunam nidrd sadyah pranahardni fat. 

‘ Diy meat, old women, the young sun, milk just soured, dalliance 
and slumber in the morning, are the six things that take away 
life. A very common device is the repetition of the main word 
in a series of definitions, as in : 

sd bhdryd yd fucir dakfd sd b/idryd yd pativratd 
sd bhdryd yd patiprltd sd bhdryd satyavddinl. 

‘A true wife she who is pure and clever, a true wife she who is 
faithful to her spouse, a true wife she whom her husband adores 
a true wife she who never tells a lie.’ ’ 

satyena dhdryate prthvl satyena iapyate ravih 
satyena vdti vdyuf ca sarvam saiye pratisthitam. 

‘By truth the earth is supported, by truth the sun gives heat, by 
truth blows the wind, on truth all is established.’ Even numerical 
enumerations may have point : 

sakrj jalpanti rdjdnah sakrj jalpanti panditafi 
sakft kanyd pradlyate triny etdni sakrt sakrt. 

'But once do kings give orders, but once speak the wise, but 
once IS given a maiden in marriage ; all these three things are 

done but once.’ The force of example is extolled in one of the 
few political maxims : 

rdjhi dhartnini dharmifthdh pdpe pdpdh same samdh 
rdjdnam anuvartante yathd raja, tathd prajdh. 

‘ When the king walks righteously, most righteous are the people 
If he be evil, evil they also, if mediocre, the same with them • 
as the king, so the people.’ Another maxim emphasizes the 
advantages of noble character : 

eiadariham kulindndm ttrpdh kurvanti samgraham 
adtmadhyavasdnefu na tyajanti ca te nypam. 


‘ For this reason do kings gather to themselves men of hieh 

a rUtkafrf*, T attempt 

at rnetorical effect may be seen in the following : ^ 

tulc ■„/ 

' Whence can happiness come to the people through the reien of 
an evil king? What relaxation is there in friendsWp with an 

wife?*^'*What'f*'^^ happiness in the home where the wife is a bad 
wi^ ? What fame in instructing a bad pupil ? ’ 

The pedestrian character of the topics is alleviated by the use 
of metaphors and similes from the life of nature : 

ekenapi suputrena vidyayuktena sadkuna 
akladttam kulam sarvam yatha candretta farvari. 

I?!* *»«minates the whole of his kin 

as the moon the night. 

•From association with the good fools become noble but from 

association with fools noble men remain cure • fh. /’.u 
draws to itself tb- r cn remain pure , the earthen vase 

□raws to Itself the odour of. the flowers therein hut tb„ a 

absorb none of the scent of the vase.’ ' 


chtdyante saralas iatra kubjas tUtkanti padapdk. 

‘Be not too upright; read the parable of the wood - the erect 
trees are those that are felled, the crooked are left standTnl ' 

A better moral than this is taught .- 

varam pranaparityago na manaparikhandanam 
pranatydgak ksanam caiva mdnabhmigo 'dine dine. 

‘Better death than dishonour; dying lasts but a moment, dishonour 


endures for ever/ Fatalism is similarly matched with the 
exaltation of asceticism : 

tddffi jdyate buddhir vyavasdyo 'pi tddrgah 
sahdyas tddfga eva yddrgt bhavitavyatd. 

‘ Man’s thought, man’s resolve, man’s companions, all are such as 
fate decides.’ But: 

yad durath yad durdrddhyam yac eddure vyavasthitam 
tat sarvam tapasd sddhyam tapo hi duratikramam, 

* What is afar, what is hard to attain, what is placed near at 
hand, all that can be accomplished by asceticism ; asceticism is 
hard to overcome.’ Women are unpopular : 

anftarh sdkasatn ntdyd murkhatvam atilobhatd 
agaucatvam nirdayatvaih strindm dosdh svabhdvajdlu 

‘Untruth, haste, cunning, folly, greed, impurity, pitilessness, 
these are woman’s innate faults.’ A parable recommends the 
advantages of appearances : 

nirvigendpi sarpena kartavyd mahati phand 
vigant astu na vdpy astu khatdtopo bhayamkarah. 

* If a serpent have no poison yet should he swell out his hood ; 
be poison there or be it not, the expansion of the hood is 

The Qloka is the prevailing metre, but there occur stanzas in 
other metres, especially in Bhojaraja’s recension which has many 
in Indravajra, Van^astha, Vasantatilaka, and Qardulavikridita, 
Other minor collections of gnomic stanzas are attributed to 
Vararuci — which of the many is meant is quite unknown, to 
Gha^akarpara, and to Vetala Bhatta, under the styles of Nltiratna^ 
Nitisdra^ and Nitipradipa ; they contain some excellent stanzas, 
but their date is quite uncertain. Of far greater importance is 
the Nitigataka of Bhartrhari, which has already been noticed. 
Under the avaricious (J^ankaravarman (883-902) of Kashmir wrote 
Bhalla^a, who suffered severely from the failure of the king to 
reward poets. His pataka ^ is carefully elaborated and in varied 
metres, and it is clear that it is not wholly original ; at least one 

^ Ed. KM. iv. 1.40 ff. Cf. Kalbana, v. 204. 


stanza of Anandavardhana, his earlier contemporary, is included 
in iO Bhallata wrote also a good deal of other poetry, to judge 
from citations in the anthologies, which include many well-turned 
verses. His style is usually fairly simple : 

antof chidrani bhuyahsi kantakd bahavo bahik 

katham kamalandthasya md bhuvan bhahgurd gundh f 

‘ Many a thorn without, many a space within ; 'twere a marvel if 
the merits of the lotus stem were not frail/ Another allegory is 
one of the dust : 

ye jdtyd laghavah sadaiva ganandm ydtd na ye kutra cit 
padbhydm eva vimarditdh praiidinam bhumau nillndg dram 
utkdptdf capaldfayena marutd pafydntarik^e sakhe 

tuhgdndm upari sthitiih k^tibhridm kurvanty ami pdhsavah, 

* The dust, light by nature, is deemed nought, day by day it is 
trampled beneath our feet and trodden into the ground ; but see, 
dear friend, the fickle wind has tossed it high, and it settles now 
on the summit of the lofty mountains/ 

Less original is the work of another Kashmirian poet, a certain 
?ilhana,* who may also have worked in Bengal. It is clear that 
he was an admirer of Bhartrhari ; he borrows from him, and 
when he does not reproduce he alters, partly, no doubt, in order 
to adapt the standpoint of an earnest Vaisnava to that of a Qaiva 
like Bhartfhari ; one stanza is borrowed from the Ndgananda of 
Harsa. Qilhana is essentially bent on glorifying by his compila- 
tion, to which he doubtless added original matter of his own, the 
merits of asceticism, and there is much in him that is common to 
all three great religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It 
would be difficult to assert that he is a great poet ; his matter is 
more interesting than his manner, which is competent but hardly 
more than that. His date is uncertain, but before the Saduktu 
karndmrta (1205), in which he is cited, Pischel has not un- 
naturally seen in him a mistake for Bilhana, and one of Bilhana^s 
verses Is actually found, at least in some manuscripts of the 
Qataka. Nor can the suggestion be positively disproved ; it is 
true that Bilhana is not usually a compiler, but that is not to say 

' ZDMG. Ivi. 405. 

* £d. K. Schonfeid, Leipzig, 1910. See Keith^ JKAS. 1911, pp, 357 ff. 



that he did not become one in old age : he owned wealth, as the 
Vikramdhkadevacarita proves, and his eroticism is established 
by the Caurasuratapancdfikd ; but we know from his epic that 
he grew weary of the world in old age, and that he passes over 
his erotic poem in silence, so that we might easily believe that 
he renounced wealth and love and sought tHc delights of solitude 
and devotion to God. But in the absence of any old tradition 
we cannot press Pischel's suggestion. 

The following stanzas illustrate well the minor key of (JJilhana’s 
art : 

tvdm udara sadhu manye fdkair api yad asi labdhaparito^am 
hatahrdayam hy adhikddhikavdhchdgatadurbharam na punah, 

‘ Thee, O belly, I deem wise, since thou art satisfied with mere 
vegetables ; but quite other is my view of the accursed heart 
which is ever more difficult to satiate because of its hundreds of 

dadhati tdvad amt vi^aydk sukkam : sphuratu yavad iyam hrdi 

manasi tattvaviddfk tu vivecake: kva visaydh kva sukhaih kva 
parigrahah ? 

‘ Things of sense delight us here so long only as folly reigns in 
our hearts ; in the mind of those who know the truth objects, 
delight, and acquisition thereof are nothing.* 

vdso valkalam dstaraih kisalaydny okas tarundm talam 
mtildni k^ataye k^udham girinadltoyam trsnd^dntaye 
kridd mugdhamrgair vaydhsi stihrdo naktam pradipah fafi 
svddhine vibhave tathdpi krpand ydcanta iiy adbhutam. 

* Bark for a garment, twigs for a bed, the foot of a tree for 
a house, roots to banish hunger, water from mountain streams to 
quench thirst, sport with the loving gazelles, the birds as friends, 
the moon as a lamp by night : with such riches at their pleasure, 
strange that the poor should beg.* 

Other works are of less interest ; Qambhu wrote under Harsa 
of Kashmir (1089-1101) an Anyoktimuktdlatdfataka^ in 108 
elaborate stanzas, of no special merit. His Rdjendrakarnapura^ 

» Ed. KM. ii. 61 flf. 

* Ed. KM. i. aa it. 


a eul<^ of Harsa, is cited by Vallabhadeva freely, not his Qataka. 
The Dfffantofataka * of Kusumadeva is probably late, though it 
is cited by Vallabhadeva : it illustrates each maxim by an example, 
whence its name, and is simple and unpretentious : 

uttamah kUfavik^obkam kfamah sodhum na hltarah 
. tnanir eva mahofanaghar^anam na tu mrtkanah, 

‘ Only the noble can bear the pangs of sorrow ; the jewel resists 
the pressure of the grindstone, not the lime.’ 

Ifvardh pifundn ckafvad dvUantiii kim adbhutam 
prayo nidhaya evahln dvijihvan dadhatetaram. 

‘ What wonder if the rich ever hate false men ? Treasures ever 
conceal two-headed snakes.’ The verbal form in the comparative 
is a frequent feature in this poetry. 

dfmtatn apt paradattam duhkham aucityabhajdm 
bhavati hrdi tad evdnandakaritare^dm 
Malay ajar asabindur badhate netram antar 
janayati ca sa evahladam anyatra gdtre, 

‘ If given by another even wealth is a sorrow to the noble ; it is 
others whose hearts it delights ; the water drops from the Malaya 
wind trouble the eye, though they give pleasure to the rest of 
the body.’ 

Still later probably are the Bhavofataka^ of Nagaraja of the 
Taka family, or of Bhava, his prot^g^, and the Upadegofataka^ 
of Gumani, as well as many other works. In the seventeenth 
century the great authority on poetics, Jagannatha, wrote his 
Bhaminivildsa^ admirable in many respects both as an erotic 
poem, an elegy, and a store of gnomic sayings, but this poetry is 
well beyond the limits here set. 

The anthologies, which are our sources of so many lyric 
stanzas, are equally rich in gnomic matter, sometimes of great 
beauty, and there are a number of brief poems which may best be 
reckoned as gnomic. The most famous is the Cdtakd^taka^ of 
uncertain date ; the bird will drink only the water of the clouds, 
and thus is a symbol of hauteur'. 

‘ Ed. Haeberlin, iijff. ‘Ed. KM. iv. 37. 

‘ Ed. KM. ii. ai ff. ' Ed. Haeberlin, 33J ff. 

• Ed. Bergaigne, Paris, 187J. 


eka eva khage mani vane vasati cdiakah 
pipdstto vd fUTiyate ydcate vd purandaram, 

‘No peer is there in pride for the Cataka among the wood- 
dwellers ; athirst he dies or makes supplication to Iiidra alone/ 
To an unknown Bhatta Orvidhara are ascribed some verses full 
of rough good sense : 

andhutapravistasya drstasya kruddhacakstisd 
svayam evopavistasya varam mriyur na bhojanam, 

‘ Better death than feeding an uninvited guest who calmly sits 
down, though you glare angrily at him/ 

d saptater yasya vivdhapahktir: vicchidyate nunain apandito'sau 
jivanti tdh karta?taku{tandbhydm : gobhyah ktm uksd yavasam 

‘ He is a fool who goes not on marrying until seventy ; his wives 
can live by spinning and pounding; does the bull provide fodder 
for the cows ? ’ Very different is the exquisite simile which justifies 
pity for the worthless : 

nirgnnesv api sattvesu ddydm kurvanti sddhavah 
na hi saihharate jyotsndvi candraf canddlavepnani, 

‘ The noble show compassion even to the worthless ; the moon 
doth not withhold her light even from the Candala's abode/ The 
immutability of facts is proved in the Nitiratna : 

manir luthati pdddgre kacah firasi dhdryate 
yaihaivdste iathaivdstdm kaco kaco manir manih. 

‘ A jewel rolls before our feet, glass is placed on the Head ; let 
them be as they are, a jewel remains a jewel, and glass glass/ 
Royal service is exposed : 

rdjasevd manusydndm asidhdrdvalekanam 
panednanaparisvanjo vydlivadanaaimbanam, 

* For a man to serve a king is as wise as to lick the edge of 
a sword, embrace a lion, and kiss the mouth of a serpent/ The 
evils of overcrowding are not modern alone, as Vainateya shows 
in a humorous stanza : 

tasminn eva grhodare rasavatt tatraiva sd kandani 
tatropaskarandni tatra figavas tatraiva vdsah svayam 



sarvam so 4 havato 'pi duhsthagrhinah kirn brumahe tain da^dm 
adya ^vo janayi^yamdnagrhinl tatraiva yat kunthati. 

‘ Within the house is the kitchen, there the mortar, there too the 
crockery, there the children, there his own study. He has put 
up with all that, but what can we say of the condition of the 
wretched householder when his wife who to-day or to-morrow 
will present him with a new addition to his family must spend 
there her time of labour? * 

2. Didactic Poetry 

There is, of course, no clear line of demarcation between 
gnomic and didactic verse ; the easiest mode of distinction rests 
on the extent and degree of unity of conception, and that permits 
of indefinite variety. Of early work of the pronounced didactic 
type very little has come down to us ; Qantideva’s Bodhicaryava- 
idra is the most distinguished effort known to us to adapt the 
elegances of Sanskrit poetry to the exposition of a complex 
philosophical and moral theme. Some of the poems ascribed to 
Qafikara may be reckoned as sufficiently elaborate to be styled 
didactic tracts, for example, the ^atoflokl^ which in 101 Srag- 
dhara verses sets out with some wealth of imagery the principles 
of the Vedanta ; the Mohamudgara? on the other hand, by the 
fire of its manner and the elaborate riming it affects is more lyric 
than didactic; much of it features as the Dvddagapanjarikd- 
stotra. Some poetic merit attaches to the Qrhgdrajndnanirnaya^ 
which in a form not common in Sanskrit gives a contest between 
the claims of love and of knowledge in thirty-two stanzas, the 
claims of love being espoused by Rambha, those of philosophy 
by Quka. The author and date are alike unknown, but the latter 
is hardly early. 

A mofe interesting and quite definitely datable work is the 
early treatise on Indian pornography, the Kuttanimata^ advice 
of a hetaira, of Damodaragupta, minister of Jayapida of Kashmir 
(779-813). The book shows a young girl how to v;in gold for 
herself by the use of all the arts of flattery and feigned love, while 

* Ed. Select IVarks of Srisankaracharya^ pp. 85 fF, 

£d. Haeberltn, 265 fT. 

* £d. J. M. Grandjean, AMG. x. 477 fF. 

^ Ed. KM. fii. 3a fF. ; J. J. Meyer, Altind, Schelnunbiichert ii (1903). 



preserving throughout a mere desire for wealth. Kalhana men- 
tions him as a poet, and Mammata and Ruyyaka cite verses from 
him, as do the anthologies, showing that his work won consider- 
able fame. From the point of view of literary history, it has the 
interest that it depicts a representation of Harsa*s Ratnavali in 
an effective and realistic manner. The author s style is simple 
but not inelegant ; it begins : 

sa jayati santkalpabhavo Ratimukha^atapattracumbanabhramarah 
yasydnuraktalalandnayanantavilokitam vasatilu 

* Victorious is he, the mind-born god, the bee who kisses the 
hundred petals of Rati s face, whose abode is the glance shot 
from the corner of the eye of amorous maidens.* There is both 
wit and humour, despite their coarseness, in some of his stanzas : 

(rnu sakhi kauiukam ekaih grdmyena ktikdmind yad adya krtam 
suraiasukhamtlitdk^l mrteti bhltena vmktdsmi. 

‘ Let me tell you, friend, of a singular thing a boorish fellow of 
a lover did to me to-day ; I had closed my eyes in the ^cstacy of 
the moment, when thinking me dead he took fright and let go 
of me.* 

avidagdhah framakathino durlabhayosid ytivd viprah 
apamrtyttr apakrdntah kdmivydjena me rdtran, 

‘ Death untimely, in the shape of an uncultivated fellow, rough 
with his work, who can*t easily get women for all his youth, 
a Brahmin at that, departed from me at night in the guise of 
a lover.* 

paryahkah svdstaranah patir anukulo fncmoharctfh sudaftatn 
ndrhati lak^dhfam api tvaritaksanacaury astir atasya» 

* A couch with a fair coverlet, a loving spouse, a pleasant seat, all 
these are not worth a ten-thousandth part of the secret union 
which takes place in a hurried moment.’ With modern examples 
before us, it is not surprising to find that Damodaragupta has 
lavished on this work the resources acquired by a prolonged 
study of the Kdmasuira, the text-books on poetics, and the 

Doubtless inspired in some degree by his predecessor, Ksemen- 


dra, the polymath of Kashmir, wrote his Samayamdtrkd^ which 
perhaps means ‘ mother by convention alluding to the fact that 
the hetaira-to-be is introduced by a barber as the regular go- 
between to an ancient expert, Kalavatl, to be instructed in her 
exacting profession. The old lady, though owl-faced, crow- 
necked, and cat-eyed, through the passage of time since she was 
an expert, proves a witty instructress, and with her skilled aid 
the young aspirant ends by cheating a young fool and his stupid 
parent. Another of Ksemendra's numerous writings is the 
Kaldvildsa * which in ten sections discourses of the various occu- 
pations and follies of mankind. The hero of the book is the 
famous Muladeva,^ the personification of all trickery, who con- 
sents to educate in his own trade the young Candragupta whom 
his father entrusts to his care. We learn from him of the great 
spirit of cheating, Dambha, which has descended to earth and 
reigns among ascetics, doctors, lackeys, singers, goldsmiths, mer- 
chants, actors, and indeed all others ; it has spread even to the 
world of beasts— -witness the crane who parades himself as a peni- 
tent to snare the unwary fish, and is known even in the vegetable 
world — the trees wear bark garments just like ascetics. There is 
in certain respects a curious modernity in Ksemendra^s pictures ; 
he knew wandering singers and bards who went about, gipsy- 
like, with pots and carts, wearing their hair long, rich in children, 
winning many gifts by flattery and wasting by mid-day what they 
had received in the morning. More medieval is the complaint 
made of the goldsmith with his tricks to cheat those who put 
work in his hands. But we are back to modernity when we find 
that the doctor, who has quack medicines and who has killed 
many a patient, is at last voted a great success and cuts a splendid 
figure ; that the astrologer, with all his hocus-pocus and his readi- 
ness to predict what his clients wish to hear, does not even know 
what his wife is doing behind his back ; and that the seller of 
patent remedies, whose head is as bald as a copper kettle, is yet 
prepared to guarantee an infallible cure for baldness and finds 
purchasers. The Darpadalana,^ in seven sections, is intended to 

‘ Ed. KM. lo, 1888. 

• Ed. KM. i. 34 ff. Cf. WZKM. xxviii. 406 ff. 

* Bloomfield, PAPS. 111 . do. aia; Pavolini, GSAI. ix. 175. 

‘ Ed. KM. vi. 66 ff. ; trfc ZDMG. Ixlx. 1 ff. 


show the folly of pride whether it be,based on noble birth, wealth, 
knowledge, beauty, courage, generosity, or asceticism. The form 
is not uninteresting; each section begins with some gnomic sen- 
tences, and then follows a tale in which the leading character 
delivers himself of a long speech which in effect is a continuation 
of the maxims. The Buddha appears in this role in ii, Qiva in vii, 
where he denounces some ascetics as not worth saving, since their 
passions cling to them still. The Sevyasevakopadefa^ in sixty-one 
stanzas is a little text of advice regarding servants and their 
masters, the Caturvargasaingraha describes the four ends of life, 
morality, practical life, love, and release, characteristically with 
more effort in the case of love than in those of the others. The 
Cdrucaryd^ataka * is a century of verses laying down the rules of 
good behaviour, illustrating them by references to myths and 
tales. The work has a certain interest, because it was used by 
and doubtless influenced the writing of the Nitimanjarl^ of Dya 
Dviveda (1494), which illustrates some aoo verses of maxims by 
tales culled from Sayana’s commentary on the Rgveda. Probably 
due to Ksemendra’s influence is also the Mugdhopadega * of Jal- 
laija, a warning in sixty-six stanzas against the wiles of hetairai. 

Ksemendra can write a fairly simple style, which appears to the 
>est advantage in his reflections on the world and on morals, nor 
nust we for a moment suggest that his remarks on erotics are of 
he character of pornography ; he unquestionably had throughout 
lis work a moral aim, however little we may care for his mode 
>f treating difficult issues. Some of the Kaldvildsa stanzas are 
[uite pretty : 

\tha pathikavadhiidahanah fanakair udabhun nt^dkaralokah 
umudaprabodhaduto vyasanaguruf cakravdkindm. 

Then slow uprose the shimmering moon, tormenting the wives of 
hose afar, portending the awakening of the night-lotuses, and 
ausing the female Cakravaka birds the grief of loss of their 

anahgendbaldsahgdj jitd yena jagattrayl 

sa citracaritah kdtnah sarvakdmaprado 'stu vah. 

* Ed. KM. ii. 79 ff. 

* Keith, JRAS. 1900, pp. ia7fr., 796!. 

* Ed. KM. ii. laSflf. 

< Ed. KM. viii. 125(1. 


‘ May Love who, though bodiless, with women only to aid him 
conquered the three worlds, bestow on you, wonder-worker, all 
that you love/ 

artho ndma jandnam jivitam akhilah kriydkaldpag ca 
tain ca haranty atidhurtdf chagalagald gdyand loke. 
iamasi vardkaf cauro hdhdkdrena ydti samirastah 
gdyanacaurah kapatl hdhd krtvd nayati laksatn. 

‘ Gold is the life and all the business of life for men, yet in this 
world our singers with their goat-like bleats are clever enough to 
steal it away ; when the wretched thief in the night hears the 
shout “ Oh, Oh,** he takes to his heels in panic, but the cunning 
thief of a singer gets a lakh of coins when his audience shouts 
“ Oh, Oh '*.* The term hdhd expresses joy as well as fright. The 
denunciation of the goldsmith is quite effective : 

Meruh sthito 'tidure manusyabhutnitn parityajya 
hhlto bhayena catirydc caurdndm hemakdrdndm^ 
tasmdn mahipaiindm asambhave cauradasyundm 
ekah suvarnakdro nigrdhyah sarvathd nityam. 

‘ Why does mount Meru keep so far away from our earth ? It is 
in fear of being stolen by our thieves of goldsmiths. Therefore 
kings, when robbers and thieves are scarce, should suppress by all 
means in their power the goldsmith.’ 

Half a century younger than Ksemendra was Amitagati whose 
Subhd^itaratnasafhdoha/Co\\tc\\ox\ of Jewelsof Happy Sayings/^ 
was written in 994 and his Dharmapariksd twenty years later.’* 
The former work in thirty-two chapters, usually w ritten in one 
and the same metre, touches on the various aspects of Jain ethics, 
with an obvious polemical attitude towards Brahmanical specula- 
tions and practice. As usual, women arc assailed readily (vi), 
and hetairai have a whole chapter to themselves (xxiv). The 
Aptas, the perfect men of Jainism, are described in xxviii,and the 
Brahmanical gods are denied the right to rank with them because 
they lust after women, indulge in drink, and are devoted to the 
world of sense. The assault on Brahmanism is resumed with 
much legendary matter to support it in the later work. More 

* Ed. KM. 8 j; with trans. R. Schmidt and J. Hertel, ZDMG. lix. and Ixi; cf. 
WZKM. xvii. 105 ff. 

• N. Mironow, DU Dharmapariksd des Amitagati (1903). 


important is Hemacandra*s Yoga^dstra^ written in simple Qlokas, 
with his own commentary in somewhat elaborate prose. The first 
four chapters contain as developed in the commentary a full and 
clear account of Jain philosophy, the last eight deal with the 
various duties and ascetic practices of Jainism. There is, as in 
Amitagati, the constant glorification of Ahinsa and depreciation 
of women, and, though Hemacandra is capable of some moder- 
ately good poetry it would be absurd to give the work any high 
literary rank. From this point of view greater value attaches to 
the little but elaborate (^rhgdravairdgyataranginl * in forty-six 
stanzas, denouncing the love of women, by Somaprabha (1276). 

^ Ed. BI. 1907 ff. ; i-iv, ZDMG. xxviii. 185 ff. 

• Ed. KM. V. 1^4 ff. 




I . The Origin of the Fable 

W E may safely assume that from the earliest times of the 
life of the Vedic Indians in India tales of all sorts 
passed current among the people, however useless it may be 
to discriminate them as fairy tales, Marchen, or myths or fables 
in the earlier stages of their development. It was, however, 
a distinct and important step when the mere story became 
used for a definite purpose, and when the didactic fable became 
a definite mode of inculcating useful knowledge. We do not 
know at what date this took place ; we could not expect to find 
fables in the Rgveda^ but we have there something which reminds 
us how easy it was for Indian thought to transfer to men’s neigh- 
bours the habits of men. Whatever be the purpose of a famous 
hymn in the ligveda ^ in which Brahmins are compared to croak- 
ing frogs as they sing at their sacrifice, it is clear that we have 
a recognition of a certain kinship between men and animals, 
which comes out clearly in the Upanisads,* where we have the 
allegory or satire of the dogs who search out a leader to howl 
food for them, the talk of two flamingoes whose remarks call 
attention to Raikva, and the instruction of the young Satyakama 
first by a bull, then by a flamingo, then by an aquatic bird. 
Granting that we have not here the didactic fable, in which the 
actions of beasts are made the means of advising men, still we can 
realize how easy it was to pass to this form of instruction, and in 
fact we find in the epic ® clear recognition of fables, and that not 
merely in the late didactic book xii but elsewhere. Not only do 
we hear of the bird that provided the equivalent of the golden 
eggs, but of the naughty cat which deceived the little mice by an 
appearance of virtue so that they delivered themselves into her 
power, and we have a motif vflixch certainly is strongly suggestive 

' vii. 103. . • Chdndogya Upanisad, i. la ; iv. 1 ; 5 ; 7f. 

* Holtzmann, D<u M<ihdbhdrata^ iv. 88 fT. 


of the material whence developed the Pancatantrc^ht Pan^avas^ 
it is suggested, are to be treated as the intelligent jackal treated 
his allies the tiger, the mouse, the ichneumon, and the wolf, when 
he smartly cheated them out of any share in the booty he had 
won with their aid. About the same time,^ as the monumental 
evidence at Bharhut proves, the Buddhists were already making 
another use of the common belief in the close relationship of 
animals and man, now accentuated by the adoption by Hindus, 
Buddhists, and Jains alike of the doctrine of transmigration into 
animal as well as human forms* They chose by relating beast 
stories to illustrate the deeds and greatness of the Buddha and 
his contemporaries in past births. 

We may confidently assume from the epic and from allusions 
to proverbs in Patanjali ^ that the beast fable was thus current, 
but we cannot say with any certainty whether fables had yet come 
to be reduced to literary form of any kind. The answer may be 
in the negative, for the fable as we have it in the Pancatanira is 
indeed an elaborate production despite its seeming lack of art. 
It is essentially didactic, and thus must consist in part of a talc, 
but in part also of a moral or maxim of practical life — which may, 
of course, not be moral in the higher sense of the term. The fable, 
indeed, is essentially connected with the two branches of science 
known by Indians as the Nltigdstra and the Arthagdstra, which 
have this in common as opposed to the Dharmagdstra that they 
are not codes of morals, but deal with man’s action in practical 
politics and conduct of the ordinary affairs of every-day life and 
intercourse. We must not, however, exaggerate the contrast 
between these Qastras, for in the Arthagdstra and the Nuifdstra 
alike there is much common sense, and that is often in accord 
with practical morality ; at no time can we regard the didactic 
fable as intended merely to extol cleverness without regard to 
morality ; there lingers around the w^ork a distinct influence of the 
Dharmofdstra^ as was only to be expected, seeing that the Paiica- 
tantra was intended for the instruction of the young and the 
instructors were Brahmins. But the youthful pupils were evidently 
not intended to be Brahmin boys either solely or mainly ; tradi- 

' M€m, Arch. Surv, India^ i (*919), 15- On the question of dates cf. R. C. 
Majumdar, JPASB. 1933, pp. 335 flf. 

* On Panini, ii. i. 3 ; v. 3. io6f. ; Weber, IS. xiii. 486. 

R % 



tion enshrined in’ the Pancatantra itself asserts its composition 
for the instruction of the sons of a prince, and with this accords 
the use of Sanskrit, for at the probable time of its first produc- 
tion, Sanskrit was already essentially the language of the Brahmins 
and of the high official classes in the royal entourage. A work 
of this sort, it is evident, was a very definite creation, something 
vastly different from mere tales regarding beasts or even the 
simple fable as it may have passed current orally.^ 

The form of the fable is essentially dictated by its origin. The 
story is naturally related in prose, but the moral is fixed in the 
memory by being put in verse form, and it is natural that other 
didactic verses should be strewn in the tales ; such an employment 
of gnomic stanzas is found in the Aitareya Brahmana} The 
maxim embodying the truth or point of the tale naturally stands 
in a different position from the more general didactic stanza ; it 
must be capable of serving as an identification label, or Katha- 
samgraha9loka, a verse that sums up the tale. It must, however, 
have been natural on the basis of such stanzas to insert in the 
narrative itself stanzas which are not maxims, but, like the label, 
refer definitely to the tale itself, and thus we achieve the use of 
Akhyana or narrative verses, but primarily at any rate as a minor 
feature. It is only slowly and late that the didactic fable comes 
to be written wholly or largely in verse. 

Yet another peculiarity marks the form of the fable. It was 
a distinctly artistic touch to complicate and enlarge the theme, 
not merely by combining a number of fables to form a book, but 
to interweave the fables so that the whole would become a unity. 
This involved making the characters in the fables support their 
maxims by allusions to other fables, which they necessarily are 
asked to tell, resulting that in a fable others are normally inserted, 
while the process may even be carried so far as to include in such 
an inserted fable another inserted fable. There is, of course, 
nothing simple or popular in such a form ; indeed, it is highly 
inconvenient for merely practical purposes, as the thread of the 
main narrative may be so interrupted as to render return to it 
difficult ; it must have been the invention of some definite person 
or persons. For models we can only refer vaguely to the love of 
direct speech shown in the epics where, if possible, the actor is 

^ vii. I3ff. 


made to relate his own deeds, as does Odysseus among the 
Phaladans. Nor would it be reasonable to doubt that those who 
introduced these important changes into the form of the fable, as 
contrasted with the simpler form we must presume it once had, 
were responsible for inventing many of the fables which they tell. 
From the popular fable they may well have borrowed a good 
deal in substance, but in adapting it for very definite didactic ends 
they must have vitally changed it. We can support this view by 
the wholesale alterations evidently made in the conception of 
fables by the Buddhists in the Jataka book. 

In view of these facts it is clear that it is not possible to speak 
of a Prakrit fable literature as being the precursor of the Pahea- 
tantra. We have no reason whatever to suppose that any real 
parallel to the structure of the Paheatantra ever existed, and we 
cannot even say that the substance of the individual tales was 
current among the people until much later, when the popularity 
of the Paheatantra led to the wholesale effort to appropriate 
them for the humbler ranks of society much as apparently 
happened in the case of Aesop^s fables. We may go further and 
hold that the fable was far more of an independent creation in 
Sanskrit than the popular tale or Marchen, which is free from the 
didactic aim of the fable and expresses much more directly the 
religious feelings of the people, their myth-making capacity, their 
belief in magic in all aspects, and the native ingenuity of humble 
narrators. It is in entire harmony with this obvious distinction 
that Indian tradition is as positive regarding the Prakrit original 
of the great collections of Marchen as it is silent on the existence 
of any Prakrit source of the Paheatantra, 

Clear distinctions in literature, as in everything else, are not 
common in Sanskrit, and no terminology was invented by writers 
on poetics to discriminate between the fable and the tale, though 
as regards the tale itself some efforts were made to discriminate 
the species of Katha or Akhyayika, though without success,^ 
Tlie stories in the several books of the Paheatantra are styled 
Kathas, while in one version the title is Tantr akhyayika. The 
terms themselves merely denote, Akhyayika, narrative, some- 
times minor narrative, Katha, conversation, story, and it was 
hardly possible to discriminate them seriously. Nor are in fact 
1 Cf. S. K. D^, BSOS. ill 507 ff. 


ill the Paheatantra fables, tales, and narratives of actual or 
possible human events rigidly discriminated ; it differs from the 
tales in that the fable element with its didactic stanzas decidedly 
prevails over other elements, while the tale includes the fable 
merely as a lesser constituent. Both profit by this absence of 
rigidity, which permits either a richer content and more elaborate 
development. Even so late a work as the Hitopadega knows how 
to seek variety by blending the beast fable with M^rchen and 
spicy narratives of human life. 

2. The Reconsiriution of the Paheatantra and its 

The original of the numerous works which have come down to 
us, usually under the style of Paheatantra or something equiva- 
lent, is now lost. But we can unquestionably find our way back 
to the substance of the original and even to a considerable measure 
of its form by the examination of the chief of its representatives.' 
Of these we can certainly discern four main groups. The first is 
the Pahlavi version of the Paheatantra made before A.D. 570, but 
now lost, which itself can be reconstructed in substance from an 
Old Syrian and an Arabic version with the later texts based on 
the latter. The second is a version produced in north-west India, 
which was interpolated in the version of Gunadhya^s Brhatkatha 
which formed the basis of the Brhatkathamahjarl of Ksemendra 
and the Kathdsaritsdgara of Somadeva in the eleventh century. 
The third is represented by two Kashmir versions styled Tantrd- 
khydyika, and by two Jain recensions which derive their matter 
from a text akin to, but not that of, the Tantrdkhdyika, namely 
the Simplicior well known through Biihler and Kielhorn's edition 
in usum tironum, and the text of Purnabhadra (1199), who used 
also the Tantrdkhydyika and some other unknown version. 
Fourthly, we have the common ancestor of the Southern Pahea- 
tantra, the Nepalese Paheatantra and the popular Hitopadefa\ 
the latter two are derived from a version sister to the Southern 
Paheatantra now lost, and the Hitopadega is in considerable 
measure derived from another source altogether. 

This is the limit of our certainty. HerteFs * unrelenting and 

^ See K. Edgerton, The Panchatantra Reconstructed 
* Das Paheatantra (1914). 


fruitful labours led him to conclude that all these sources went 
back to a defective original (styled by him /), but it is clear that 
this is unproved. Further, he held that these four sources ought 
to be reduced to two, the Tantrdkhyayika original and ‘ K *, the 
source of the other three groups, and in part of version ^ 
of the Tantrdkhyayika itself* This again is implausible, and 
the result is important, because it follows that the occurrence of 
any story in any two of the four versions is a strong reason for 
assigning it to the original text, whereas on Herters view signifi- 
cance of this kind only applies to occurrence both in the Tan- 
trdkhydyika and one of the ‘ K ’ version. Nor is there any 
adequate ground for Herters further assumption of another inter- 
mediate archetype, ‘ N.-W.*, from which the Pahlavi, the Southern 
Pancatantra group, and the Simplicior are descended. Further, 
the priority of recension of the Tdntrdkhydyika is implausible ; its 
omissions, which Hertel held of great importance in re-establish- 
ing the original text, are frequently not a proof of fidelity to the 
ultimate source, but arc secondary ; the recension which makes 
them good is thus as valuable, if not more so, than recension o. 
Fortunately, despite these divergences of opinion, we can be 
assured of the possibility of reconstructing the substance of the 
original. Edgerton accepts all of the stories held original by 
Hertel as genuine, and of those which he adds Hertel merely 
holds five doubtful and two certainly unoriginal. His grounds 
in no case are convincing, and the disputed tales are, probably 
enough, to be ascribed to the primary Pancatantra. 

The name of this original was almost certainly Pancatantra^ 
but the sense of the term is uncertain ; does Tantra merely mean 
book, or does it indicate trick, specimen of sharp conduct, or 
didactic or authoritative treatise? Similarly, does Tantrdkhyd- 
yika denote a Nlti^astra in the form of tales arranged in (five) 
books ; or an authoritative text-book (for policy) in the shape of 
an Akhyayika ; or a text-book composed of instructive or 
didactic tales ? We do not know, but it is perhaps more likely 
that Pancatantra meant originally five subject-matters ; as a title, 
a treatise dealing with five subject-matters. Of the state of the 
original we cannot say more with certainty than that it must have 
existed before the Pahlavi version was made, and probably for 
some time. That if was written long after aoo B. C., Hertel’s 


first suggested date, is not doubted by himself; it knows the 
Mah&bh&rata well, and the use of dindra^ the Latin dinarius^ 
points definitely to a time after the Christian era, though it is 
not sufficient to assign it to the second century A. D. at earliest.' 
Everything, however,* suggests that it fell in the period of 
the Brahmanical restoration and expansion under the Guptas 
or just before their empire, with which well accords the 
use of Sanskrit for the instruction of princes and the dis- 
tinctly Brahmanical character of the work, even if the evidence 
for the author having been a Vaisnava is inadequate. We may 
reasonably accept the author as a Brahmin, but the name Visiju- 
9arman given doubtless in the prototype cannot be relied on, 
though it is impossible to dismiss it as certainly feigned ; the 
author might very well have wished thus to secure remembrance 
of his personality. If so, then some weight may attach to the 
fact that Visnu9arman is described as relating the tales to the sons 
of king Amara9akti of Mahilaropya or Mihilaropya in the Deccan 
as a sign of southern origin ; with this it agrees that the Tantrd^ 
khydyika with the Jain versions mentions a mount 
apparently in the western Deccan. The frame story of Book v is 
placed in Gauda, Bengal, but this is of no importance, especially as 
of the later versions only the Hitopadefa is connected with that 
land. Hertel's view that the work was composed in Kashmir 
because n^fther the tiger nor the elephant plays a part in the 
original, while the camel is known, is inconclusive in view of the 
late origin of the work, which would render it possible for persons 
in a very wide area in India to know all about the camel. The 
places of pilgrimage mentioned are common-place, Puskara, 
Gangadvara, Prayaga, and Varanasi, so that we must leave the 
place of composition open. 

3 . The Subject-Matter of the Pancatantra 

The reconstructed text is unquestionably a text-book for the 
instruction of kings in politics and the practical conduct of every- 
day life, but it is also a story-book, and the author was not in- 
clined to cut down his stories merely to the bare minimum neces- 
sary for his task of instruction. This is true to human nature, 

> Keith, JRAS. 1915, pp. 504 . 


and it doubtless accounts for the insertion of stories which are 
rather Marchen than fables, as the tale^ of the strand bird which 
menaced the sea and the narrative in Book ii of the experiences 
of the mouse, Hiranya. Nor was the intention of the author un- 
moral : he had no desire to establish the doctrine that dishonesty 
was the best policy ; his concern was to give advice of a useful 
character, and it is by no means essential that such advice should 
be immoral. Indeed, in one important case, the story of Evil- 
wit and Honest-wit, we have a long account simply intended to 
prove that honesty is the best policy, and the point is emphasized 
by the fact that it is Karataka, a minister of the bull, who reproves 
his colleague Damanaka and insists that he will live to repent 
successful villainy. We are in fact right in the midst of the 
normal Brahmanical society. The ministers of the king are nor- 
mally Brahmins, Brahmins are essential for sacrifices, the Brah- 
manical consecrations and sacraments are observed, at the new and 
the full moon Brahmins are fed. It is quite a mistake to regard 
as signs of hostility to Brahmanism such facts as allusions to the 
false ascetic or the greed of the priests, a distinction which they 
share with women and kings. The Brahmins were not a close 
corporation, blind to defects of individual members ; they were as 
ready to see the defects of one another as medieval monks. Of 
Buddhist tendencies there is no trace whatever ; Benfey*s view 
that the original of the Pancatantra was a Buddhist book was 
natural at the time when he could find parallels for the tales only 
in Buddhist books whose age he over-rated, and when it was 
imperfectly realized how essentially Indian in. many regards 
Buddhism was. We now can be certain that several of the Jataka 
tales are merely derived from the original Pancatantra as in the 
case of Nos. 349 and 36 1 which rest on the frame story of Book 1 of 
that text. For the large and sometimes indigestible masses of 
political information regarding kings, ministers, and royal govern- 
ment, the means to win allies and alienate confederations of 
enemies, and to wage war, we have a parallel in the Arthagastra 
handed down under Kautilya's name ; it is quite possible that it 
was actually known as we have it to the original Pancatantra, 
but that cannot be proved by internal evidence, and the utterly 
uncertain date of the Arthagdstra renders it out of the question 

^ i. 9. Cf. St. Mania’s bird, Wesseliki, Monchslaitin, p. 173. 


to assert that it is older than the PaHcatantra. What is clear is 
that the PaHcatantra derived its information from a similar 
source to the Kau(iliya. 

The frame story of Book i is preceded by a legend of the 
wickedness of the sons of king Amara9akti, who entrusts them to 
Visnu^arman on his promise in six months to teach them polity. 
Then we are introduced to the topic of the separation of friends, 
the frame story relating how a wicked jackal brought about the 
estrangement of the lion, Pingalaka, from the bull, Saihjlvaka, 
who had been rescued by the lion and then was treated as his 
dear friend, to the disgust of the jackals, Karataka and Damanaka, 
the lion’s trusted ministers. By cunning the lion is made to dis- 
trust the bull, and finally to slay him ; he repents when he sees , 
his blood-stained paws, but Damanaka consoles him and remains 
his premier. The book gives ample room for political discus- 
sions, but it contains also a set of interesting fables. The fate of 
the ape who pulled out a wedge and was split up by it is 
recounted to prove the folly of interfering with what does not 
concern one. The necessity of investigating in lieu of mere look- 
ing at surface appearances is shown by the tale (a) of the jackal 
who learned by investigation that the drum whose sound had 
terrified was merely skin with emptiness within. Then we learn 
of three cases of evils brought on oneself in the tales (3 a-c) of 
the foolish monk who took a thief as pupil and had his cash 
stolen, of the jackal who ran in between and was killed by the 
impact of two butting rams, and of the procuress who took the 
place of a weaver’s wife in order to further her intrigue with a 
patron, and suffered in consequence the loss of her nose. Tale 4 
shows the advantage of guile over force ; the female crow to 
punish the serpent who slew her offspring put the prince’s gold 
chain in his hole and thus had him killed. Next we hear of the 
error of over-greed, illustrated by the heron who deceived the fish 
into trusting him to remove them to another lake, and so being 
eaten by him, but who met his just fate from a wise crab. Tale 6 
proves that folly leads to ruin, as the lion was destroyed by the 
clever hare who ca rsed him to leap into a well to attack his 
counterfeit presentment in the water. The result of cleverness 
inducing combined action is next illustrated by the tale of how 
the retainers of a lion by offering themselves to their sick master 

as fcK^ and being refused in turn induced the foolish camel, who 
was living under the lion s protection, to do likewise, whereupon 
the lion devoured him. Next comes a warning against attacking 
an enemy without knowing his prowess, illustrated by Tale 9 of 
the strand birds. The male bade the hen lay her eggs at the 
ocean’s edge, but she derided the project, defending her thesis by 
two tales (10 and ii) emboxed in Tale 9. The first explains 
how the foolish tortoise lost his life by not heeding the advice of 
the geese, who were carrying him on a stick held in their claws, 
not to open his mouth while in the air ; the second explains how 
the fish Forethought and Ready-wit escaped the fishers but 
Come-what-will was caught. The husband, howev^er, insists on 
her acting as he bids ; the sea takes away the eggs, but the bird 
successfully invokes, through Garuda, Visnu’s aid, and the ocean 
on pain of an assault by fire gives back the eggs. The talc (12) 
of the bird which would not take a telling, but insisted on ex- 
plaining to a foolish monkey that he could not warm himself by 
the light of a glowworm and so irritated the monkey that he 
killed him, proves the truth that some people will not learn. 
Tale 13 tells how Honest-wit and Evil-wit disputed over a sum of 
money which they had together buried but which the latter had 
secretly dug up. In court he declares that the tree will prove as 
witness of the scene that his adversary was a thief, and, when 
it is arranged to go to the tree, he tells his father to go into its 
hollow and pretend to be the tree spirit. The father remon- 
strates, telling Tale 14, how the foolish heron induced a mun* 
goose to eat a snake which devoured her young only to find that 
mungooses are connoisseurs in young birds. None the less he 
does his son's bidding, declares from the tree that Honest-wit is 
a thief, only to be burned in the tree by that outraged youth, his 
crime b^ing thus exposed. The last tale is that of the merchant’s 
son whose balance of 1,000 pounds of iron was stolen by the friend 
with whom he deposited it in his absence. When he asks it back 
he is told that mice had eaten it ; he therefore steals the son of his 
friend, and declares that a falcon has carried him away ; brought 
before the judge, he easily persuades him to secure the return of 
the balance for the son. 

Book ii of the winning offriends is perhaps more attractive. It 
opens with the tale of the clever king of the doves, Bright-ncck, 


who saves his retinue from the hunter’s net by making them all 
fly up with it and then has the bonds cut by the mouse, Goldy, 
being careful to have his cut last. We learn next how the crow, 
Lightwing, makes friends with Goldy, and is introduced to his 
old friend, the tortoise Sluggish. Goldy then explains why he 
left his first home ; his tale (i) explains that he used to eat the 
alms begged by a monk despite the efforts of the unfortunate 
to put it out of his reach ; a friend comes and tells the monk 
that the strength of the mouse must have some cause, just 
as there was a reason for mother Qandili exchanging husked rice 
for husked rice. The allusion is explained in Tale 2 ; a Brahmin 
bade his wife prepare to feed Brahmins at the change of moon, 
and to override her objections on the score of economy, tells 
Tale 3, the story of the over-greedy jackal who, having as food a 
boar, deer, and hunter, nibbled the end of the bowstring which 
killed him by splitting his throat. The Brahmin’s wife yields, 
but a dog snuffs and defiles the sesame prepared, so she sends the 
pupil of her husband to exchange it for other husked rice, evok- 
ing from the master of the house where the effort to exchange is 
made the adage alluded to. The monk then proceeds to search 
for the cause of the mouse’s might and finds it in a store of gold 
in the mouse’s home which gave him magic power. This taken 
away, the mouse is rendered weak, and, unable to feed his 
followers, is abandoned by them and gives up the delusion of 
desiring power and riches, A fourth friend is now added in the 
shape of a deer ; but, wandering one day, it is caught in a snare, 
and, inappropriately it may be admitted, while waiting to be 
freed gratifies its curious friends by telling how, when young, it 
had been kept in captivity by a prince, until one day urged to 
human utterance by desire for freedom it so startled the prince 
that he fell afevered and only recovered when he was told the truth 
of the voice he had heard and released the deer. The comrades 
now release the deer, but the tortoise is surprised by the hunter’s 
advent, and has to be rescued by a clever ruse on the part of the 
deer who pretends to be dead. 

Book iii illustrates war and peace by the tale how the strong- 
hold of the owls was burned by the crows. The origin of the war 
is explained as due to an error in speech, and this elicits the tale 
(i) of the ass in the panther’s skin, which by braying lost its life; 


then a second tale is adduced, the election by the birds of a king ; 
the crow objects to the owl as hideous^ and not fit even for a 
bluff, and to illustrate the use of bluffing tells Tale 3, how the clever 
hare by pretending to have a commission from his patron the 
moon — in which the Indians saw a hare instead of a face — 
frightened away an elephant which was destroying with its herd 
all the animals round a certain lake. Further, he denounces the 
meanness of the owl and by Tale 4 illustrates the danger of a 
mean king as judge by the case of the cat, Curd-ears, who ate up 
the foolish hare and partridge who had come to him to settle a dis- 
pute. The birds are now induced to desert the owl who remains 
alone, vowing vengeance on the crows. The next tale (5) shows 
how by deceit the crows may win, as the Brahmin was cheated 
out of his sacrificial goat, as he was carrying it home, by rogues 
who assured him that he was carrying an unclean dog. The 
crow minister, therefore, contrives to present himself to the owls 
as a suppliant who, for his good advice to the crow king, has been 
cast out ; his friendly reception is advised and defended by two 
parallels. Tale 6 explains that even a thief received a kind wel- 
come from the old man whose young wife is terrified by his 
intrusion into embracing warmly her spouse ; Tale 7 extols the 
advantage of having enemies divided ; the ogre who came to carry 
off a Brahmin and the thief who wished to steal his cows 
quarrelled over priority in evil-doing, so that the Brahmin woke 
up, drove off the ogre by a spell and the thief by his club. Only 
the owl. Red-eye, warns his foolish sovereign by the tale (8) of 
the silly carpenter who allowed his wife to dishonour him, but 
was deceived by her saying that she would not have any evil 
happen to him for the world. Red-eye also sees through the 
statement of the wily crow that he wishes to bum himself and be 
reborn an owl, proving that no such change of nature is possible 
by Tale 9. An ascetic rescued a mouse and made her a maiden, 
when she became ripe for marriage he sought a meet husband ; the 
sun declined the proposals as the cloud was stronger than he, the 
cloud admitted inferiority to the wind, the wind to the moun- 
tain, and it to the mouse, so that the sage turned the maid to a 
mouse again. The owl king, however, persisted in permitting 
his enemy within the gates and is repaid by the destruction by 

* Cf. JaUka 370. 

254 the didactic FABLE 

fire of his home. The crow king warmly rewards his minister, 
and on questioning him how he could bear to associate with foes 
is told the tale of the serpent who pretended to the frogs that he 
had been cursed by a Brahmin to act as their carrier ; the frog 
king enjoys riding on him, and finding his pace diminish owing 
to lack of food allows him to eat up the young frogs, which he 
does so energetically as to devour them all. 

Book iv illustrates the loss of one’s gettings by the tale of the 
ape and the crocodile^ who lived in such amity that the croco- 
dile’s wife became jealous, and falling sick would be content with 
nothing save her rival’s heart. The crocodile, though sad, seeks 
to entice the ape to visit him, but the ape finds out his plan and 
saves himself by saying that his heart is kept on a fig-tree, escap- 
ing when the crocodile seeks to obtain it from the tree. The 
crocodile seeks to renew the friendship, but is told instead that 
the ape is not like the ass who came back. This constitutes the 
one Tale : an ass’s heart and ears are demanded by a sick lion ; 
the jackal induces an ass to come by pretending he is taking him 
to a she-ass ; the lion springs too soon and the ass escapes, but 
is deluded by the jackal into a second and fatal visit. The lion 
then departs to perform due ceremonial before partaking of the 
remedy ; the jackal eats heart and ears, and, when the lion 
demands them, asserts as irrefutable that the ass had neither 
heart nor ears, or else he would never have come back. Book v 
warns against inconsiderate action. A Brahmin is dreaming of 
the son to be born ; his wife warns him of day-dreams by the case 
of Soma9arman*s father ; he was a Brahmin who dreamed that he 
would sell for twenty rupees the groats he had to buy goats, have 
in five years a flock sufficient to obtain loo cows, and so become 
rich until he had a son born ; the child would come home, and 
the busy mother would neglect him, whereon the chivalrous 
father would beat her, an action he accomplished in his dream, 
destroying at one stroke all hope of the riches he coveted. In 
point of fact a boy is born, and the wife goes to wash, leaving the 
child to her husband s care as they had no maid. A summons 
arrives from the queen and the Brahmin goes to the palace, leav- 
ing his pet mungoose in charge of the babe. On his return he 
finds the mungoose rushing to meet him with bloody paws and 

^ JItaka ao8 ; MaAdvas/Uf ii. 346 fT. 


mouth ; in a rage he deems his son killed and slays the beast, 
only to find that the blood was that of a cobra which the faithful 
guardian had destroyed. His wife shares his grief, and reminds 
him by Tale 2 of hasty action. A young merchant is bidden in 
"a dream to slay three monks who shall present themselves, as 
they are treasures stored by his father in this odd form and will 
become when slain dinar as. He obeys, carrying out the rite 
with a barber’s aid ; the barber foolishly tries to repeat the trick, 
but his murdered monks do not become dindras, and he perishes 
at the hands of outraged justice. The tone of this book, as 
becomes its themes, is decidedly sombre. The brevity of the two 
books is remarkable, but it is just as likely to have been original 
as to have been the product of rehandling. 

Of the many maxims cited only about a quarter can be assigned 
to moral, religious, or philosophical thought, the rest deal with 
royal policy and general rules of life. The latter are far from 
always unmoral ; the hero of Book ii is a fine character of the 
heroic type, proud but ever ready to sacrifice himself for his folk 
and his friends; the mouse also, when he ruled his subjects, 
worked desperately for them, and in the sphere of private life the 
householder is expected to be loyal, generous, and upright 
There is no suggestion of approval of a low moral standard in 
domestic life ; violators of marriage ties are clearly not admired, 
and lack of sensitiveness to dishonour is disapproved and ridiculed. 

4 . The Style and Language of the Paiicatantra 

There can be no doubt that the work was the production of an 
artist. The complex emboxment of the stories, which can be seen 
from the analysis above, is a very different thing from the epic 
simplicity, and not less characteristic is the intermingling of prose 
with gnomic stanzas and with title stanzas giving the moral 
inculcated in each tale with a hint of its characters, as when the 
tale of the bird who annoyed an ape regarding a glow-worm is 
introduced with ‘ You cannot bend wood that is unbendable ; you 
cannot use a knife on a stone. Know from the fate of the bird 
Needlebeak that you cannot teach one who will not learn.* 
r A model for the intermingling of prose and verse has been seen 
in the Jatakamdld \ but, as we have seen, the character of that 



work is distinctly different ; the verses there carry on the narra* 
tive, as is done but very seldom in the Pahcatantray and usually 
where the emotion demands a finer expression than prose, or 
where a reported verse is essentially demanded by the narrative. 
Thus in the deer’s tale of his former captivity the verse he cites 
as uttered by himself is an essential factor of the story, serving 
the purpose of attracting the prince’s ear : 

vatav^^tividhutasya mfgayUthasya dhdvatah 
pr^fhato 'nugami^ydmi kadd tan me bhavi^yatit 

‘ Ah, when will it be that I shall follow my herd as hither and 
thither the wind and the rain blow it on?* Emotion, on the 
other hand, renders appropriate among other verses clearly 
gnomic the use by the hypocritical crocodile of stanzas in his 
address to the ape : 

ekah sakkd priyo bhuya upakdri gundnvitak 
hantavyah strinimittena ka^tam dpatitam mama. 

‘ My one true friend, who hath done me so much of good, must 
now be slain for the sake of a woman. Woe is me.’ This may 
even be a quoted line from another context. In the following 
case that explanation is less likely, nor indeed is there any reason 
to suppose that the author might not add to his narrative some 
verses of immediate relevance to the matter in hand : 

prayojanavofdt prUim lokah samannvartate 
tvam iu vdnarogdrdula ni^prayojanavatsalah. 

‘ The world shows affection from self-interest. But thou, noblest 
of apes, art loving without such cause.’ But verses such as these 
are very few, and, apart from the title-verses, the poet’s effort 
has been devoted to finding or writing effective maxims. How 
far these were original we cannot possibly say in those cases in 
which we have no other early authority for them ; but when 
they do not occur outside of the Pancatantra we can fairly credit 
him with them. Some unquestionably he derived from the epic, 
and he may have taken thence ^ the hint for the construction of 
Book iii as a reminiscence of the omen, given to the defeated 
Kauravas by the crows who attack and destroy the owls by 

1 MahSbh&rata x. i and v. 64. 


night, of the victory which they can win over the Pandavas by 
a night onslaught on their camp, and the idea of the doves 
carrying ofif the net of their captor. We are, however, in these 
matters of originality reduced to conjectures* 

The fact that the author was probably carrying out an original 
piece of work doubtless accounts for various blemishes — of which, 
however, later redactors remove but a few. Even in the original 
there seems to have been an attempt to accumulate an undue 
number of maxims to the same purpose, and occasionally the 
tales do not fit in very well, indicating that the author desired to 
have the tale on record even if he could not find quite an effective 
mode of inserting it. This is clearly the case with the interesting 
tale (ii. 4) of the former captivity of the deer ; it has no moral, 
properly speaking, but it is clearly a Marchen which the author 
and we would ill spare ; to doubt its valid ascription to the 
original is clearly unnecessary ; though it seems rather absurd 
for the deer to talk when he is anxious to be set free, we find 
that the mouse goes on cutting as the narrative proceeds, and in 
Book iii there are equally irrational delays while the owls 
debate; the delay is excused by the intention to give political 
instruction, as in modern opera the musical interest excuses 
delays in themselves ridiculous. 

The language of the author is distinctly elegant, and especially 
in the verses we find plays on words, double entendres ^ and other 
marks of polished style combined with polished and elaborate 
metre. Some of the verses contain rather longer compounds 
than are usual in the simpler style of Kavya ; but there are few, 
if an"", cases where real complexity of sense can be ascribed to 
the original. It is obvious that the author had taste, and realized 
that over-elaboration in style was out of place in a work destined 
for the use of young princes, and there is a decided humour in 
the decision to use a more elevated style for the story (i. 7) of the 
louse and the flea, which tells how by permitting a flea to assault 
the royal person the louse, which had long enjoyed a monopoly 
of that privilege, lost its life, through the over-haste of the flea to 
savour the extremely rich ichor of the royal person. The adop- 
tion of the same style in the story of ^he jackal which fell into 
an indigo vat and passed itself off as wearing the royal purple, 
an interpolation (h 8) in the original text, shows that the nuance 



the didactic fable 

of style had been noted early. The prose has already, though 

above Th??‘: • T’ notS 

isTve or the'^hfr '• or 

nn^nf fK ^ ^ “SO Of the aorist is 

one of the signs of the spuriousness of the tale of the wicked 

LuctiorifcT"^ r (»■>■• 5). The passive con- 

struction IS clearly coming to be preferred, resulting as it does 

wirZgi-o^^^^^^^ f accort J 

wicn me gi owing fondness for comoounH*? TU^ i - 

gerunds .„d udiucrivn, p„.lcip,nsT:Lld Jtce? 


tues of magnanimity are expounded as follows : 

^£7>jM»ia/i pranayah kopaf ca ksanabhmlgurah 
^ ^ pantyagnf ca nihsango na hhavanti mahatmanam ? 

taMrbVlrbul 'o ■- - long as life 

sytibhiijtimgamayor api bmJh- 

■■ «'■■> m «a 
Irecognin1rj^,“^, T"'^. 

;s „ ,„ u^sfans. = 


thapaiijaram. ^ sru'nnw. samastasambadliam anar- 

leTbf 7lZ “"r "O' in the path 

arises upon h“„wra''„d Xncfno'S"”' 

relaiinn f ^ wiience no exit presents itself.’ The 

verse which hlrfotlntTiB'" ““ “r'’"' “ i" 

wnicn nas lound its way into the Mitdrardksasa: 


atyucchrite mantrini pdrihive ca : vistabhya padav upaiisthaU 

sd strtsvabhdvdd asahd bharasya : tayor dvayor ekataravi jahdti. 

‘ When a minister and a king have become too elevated, fortune, 
planting firm her feet, strives to support them, but unable to 
bear the burden as being a woman she deserts one or other of 
the two.* There is a fine eulogy of right : 

eka eva stihrd dharmo nidhane *py anuydti yah 
^arirena sama7h itd^am sarvam anyad dhi gacchati, 

‘ Righteousness is the one friend who accompanieth man even in 
death, for all the rest perisheth together with the body.* The 
limits of possibility are asserted : 

yad nfakyam na tac chakyaiti yac chakyaui fakyam eva tat 
odake gakatam ydti na ndvd gaifiyate sthale. 

‘ What is impossible is not possible, what is possible that indeed 
is possible ; the cart cannot go on sea, nor the ship on dry land.’ 

A more elaborate style is not rare, as in the description of the 
sufferings of the Pandavas at Virata s court, including the fate of 
DraupadI : 

rupendpratiniena yauvanagunair vahge gubhe janinand 
yuktd grlr wa yd tayd vidhivagdt kdlakramdydtayd 
sairandhrlti sagarvitam yuvatibhih sdksepavi djnaptayd 

Dranpadyd Jiann Matsyardjabhavancghrstani cirani candajiain , 

‘ DraupadI, like (^ri herself, had peerless beauty, youthful grace, 
birth in a noble house ; yet by decree of fate the passage of time 
brought her to such a pass that for many a day she had to 
pound sandal in the palace of the Matsya king at the haughty 
bidding of maidens who insolently called her handmaid.’ 

5 . The Derivative Forms of the Paheatantra 

Of the versions derived from the Paiicatantra that into Pahlavi 
will be considered later. Of the Indian texts the Tantrdkhydyika ' 
may be given first rank by reason of its comparative closeness to 
the original. It may be granted that this relation has been 

* Ed. J. Hertel, Berlin, 1910; trans. Leipzig, 1909. 

S 2 

26 o the didactic FABLE 

exaggerated by Hertel, but, after all allowances are made, it 
remains still the nearest approach to the reconstructed text. Its 
date is uncertain and probably indeterminable. Already it had 
added certain stories which may be dismissed as not original, 
These include probably in both recensions that of the blue jackal 
(i. 8), the outwitting by a jackal of a camel and a lion (i. 13), the 
weaver Somilaka (ii. 4), king Qibi (iii. 7), the old Hahsa (iii. ii), 
and the punishment ^ of the onion thief (iv. i). In the a recension 
we have the clearly later tale of the wicked procuress (iii. 5), in 
recension /3 those of the jackal and the wary fox (iii. ii) and the 
sham warrior (iv. 3). The relation of the recensions is disputed ; 
HerteFs view is that recension fi was interpolated from use of the 
original ‘ K ’ source, whence all but the original of recension a are 
derived. It seems impossible to accept his proofs as establishing 
the existence of any such and, if so, the superiority of 
recension is open to serious doubt. Moreover, though in sub- 
stance the Tantrdkhydyika seems original, its language appears 
to have been a good deal varied ; we find also some attempts in 
recension a at rhythmical prose ^ unknown to the other versions. 

The textus simplicior was composed somewhere in western 
India by a Jain at an uncertain date, but doubtless before Pur- 
nabhadra (1199) and after M^ha and Rudra Bhatta,^ from 
whom verses are taken, perhaps, therefore, c. iioo. It is sub- 
stantially altered from the original. The five books are made 
more approximately equal ; several stories from iii are placed 
in iv, to which new matter is also added. A continuation is 
appended to Book v, the framework of which is altered by 
making the story of the barber who killed the monks the main 
story in which the tale of the ichneumon is inserted. The frame- 
works of Books iii and iv are also rehandled, and new tales added 
also to Books i-iii. Of the quite original matter seven tales are 
Marchen, one a witty anecdote, two intrigues, and one a story of 
a fool. The most remarkable addition is the tale (i. 5) of Visnu 
and the weaver ; the latter gains access to a princess by pretending 
to be Visnu and mounting a wooden Garuda, and, when the fraud 
is being disclosed through the folly of the king who, proud of his 
divine connexion, wars unsuccessfully on his neighbours and is 

* Zachnriae, A 7 . Schriften^ pp. 170 ff. * See pp. 8, 69, 118. 

* Not Rudrafa as Hertel, Paiicatantra^ p. 72 ; see (^YngdratHakaf i. 68. 


beleaguered in his city, Visnu, to save his reputation, has to come 
down and save the city. This story itself would hardly prove 
Jain origin, but there is better evidence in the mention of Jain 
monks in lieu of Brahmin ascetics and the occurrence of Jain 
terms like ksapanaka^ digambara^ nagnaka^ vyaniara^ a species 
of spirit, and dkarmadefand^ teaching of the law. A very large 
number of new stanzas is found, while perhaps of the original 
stanzas not more than one-third was retained. The original of 
the text appears to have been a text akin to the Tantrdkhydyika ; 
like that text the Simplicior contains the unoriginal tales of the 
blue jackal, the jackal outwitting camel and lion, and the weaver 

A second Jain revision was undertaken to please a minister 
Soma by a monk Purnabhadra in 1199.' The work is marked 
by the appearance of twenty-one new stories, including a famous 
one of the gratitude of animals "Shd the ingratitude of man (i. 9), 
while from the Mahdbhdrata hints are taken for the story of the 
pious pigeon and the hunter (iii. 8). Purnabhadra's version appears 
to rest in part on our Tantrdkhydyika, in part on the prototype 
of the Simplicior rather than on that text, and in part on some 
other unknown version. In this connexion it may be noted that 
the Jains evidently took to study of the Nlti9astra as they became 
important at courts; the Ava9yaka legends, perhaps of the 
seventh century, have parallels to Paheatantra tales, perhaps 
derived from one of the older forms of that text. Some of 
Purnabhadra’s matter may have arisen in Jain circles, though his 
work has no special Jain touches. Its language is marred by 
Gujarati and Prakrit intrusions. But, like the author of the 
Simplicior, he is by no means a bad writer. In his case the title 
appears as Paiicdkhydnaka, a name also applied sometimes to 
the Simplicior. From the two Jain versions are derived various 
contaminations ; one of these, the Paheakhydnoddhara of Me- 
ghavijaya (1659-60), is noteworthy, as it contains many fables of 
special interest to the investigators of connexions with the west. 

The north-western version of the Paheatantra, which gave rise 
to the reproductions of the work in the Brhatkathdmahjarl'^ and 
the Kathdsaritsdgara, seems to have been before the authors of 

^ Ed. J. Hertel, HOS. 11-13, 1908-12; trans. R. Schmidt, Leipzig, 1901. 

^ Ed. L. von Mahkowgki, Leipzig, 1892. 


these works in the form of a section of the prototype on which 
they founded their poems. This prototype was not, as will be 
seen, the original Brhatkathd of Gunadhya, but a version made 
much later in Kashmir, and in it apparently the five books of the 
original were separated by other matter. It omitted the intro- 
duction and Tale 3 of Book i, perhaps nothing more. Its 
language is uncertain. Ksemendra, however, made use also of 
recension /3 of the Tantrdkhydyikay whence he derives five un- 
original tales, and perhaps also the plan of keeping the books 
consecutive. His brevity diminishes the value of his work, but 
Somadeva*s treatment is clear and effective in his wonted 
manner. He omits our other original tales, probably for reasons 
of his own. 

The Southern Paiicatantra ^ exists in at least five recensions, 
representing the text which won currency in southern India. It 
is essentially in most of these versions an abbreviated account, in 
which, while nothing essential has been omitted, a good deal of 
shortening has been done ; Edgerton estimates the amount pre- 
served as three-quarters of the prose and two-thirds of the 
verses. It is later than Bharavi. One tale (i. 12) of the cow-' 
herdess and her lovers is clearly unoriginal. There is no doubt 
that it goes back to a common original with the Nepalese version 
and the Hitopade^a^ and, as these versions save the last quote 
a stanza of Kalidasa, the original cannot have been older than 
A. D. 500. There exists a much expanded version of this text, 
based in part on Tamil sources with ninety-six tales in all ; from 
this was derived in substance the Ahh 6 Dubois' Le Pantcha- 
Tantra ou les cinq ruses (1826). 

A Nepalese manuscript of the Pancatantra gives only the 
stanzas with one prose piece mistaken for a stanza ; other manu- 
scripts give also a prose accompaniment in Sanskrit or in Newark 
The recension in this case is clearly derived from an original 
which was before the compiler of the Hitopadega \ in both alone 
do we find the transposition of Books i and ii. 

In addition to these sources many mixed versions of the text 
can be found in Sanskrit ; moreover, it was rendered into old 
and modern Gujarati, old and modern Marathi, Braj Bhakha, and 
into Tamil, and it was used freely by ^ivadasa in his Vetdla- 

' Ed. J. IJertel, Leipzig, 1906. 


pancaviHfaiikd^ the Sanskrit texts of the Qtikasaptati^ and the 
Dvdtrincatputtalikd^ while its fate in western lands has been still 
more brilliant. 

6 . The Hitopadefa 

Of the various descendants of the Pancatantra the Hitopadega ^ 
reigns in Bengal. The author gives his name as Narayana, whose 
patron was Dhavalacandra, and, as one manuscript of the work is 
dated IJ73> niust have lived before then. His mention of the 
term Sunday, Bhattarakavara, as a day when work should not be 
done is against an early date, as not until about 900 is the use of 
this terminology customary ; ^ otherwise it is only certain that he 
is later than Magha and Kamandaki. That he wrote in Bengal 
is made probable by the talc in which he describes the worship 
of Gauii as involving sexual relations with the wife of another 
man as part of the ritual, a practice notoriously approved by the 
Tantrikas of Bengal. His purpose is given frankly as instruction 
in conduct and in Sanskrit, and his sources are stated to be 
the Pancatantra and another anonymous book. The political 
interest of the Pancatantra is fully maintained, for, though 
Narayana adds much, he is specially fond of bringing together 
large selections from the Kamandakiya Nliisdra, The other 
book, however, is not this text, but evidently some book of 
stories, for Narayana has many new tales. Of the seventeen not 
found in other versions seven are fables, three Marchen, five tales 
of intrigue, and two edifying stories. Of these, one telling of the 
loyal Viravara who is willing to sacrifice himself and his family 
to (Jiva to benefit his master, taken in conjunction with the 
reference to the worship of Gauii alluded to above, and the fact 
that each book closes with a benediction invoking (^iva’s favour, 
shows that the writer was a Q'aiva, not, as his name would 
suggest, an adorer of Visnu. 

From this Pancatantra Narayana derived the inversion of 
Books i and ii, so that the work starts with the winning of friends 
and then advances to their loss. But in Books iii and iv he went 
his own way ; Book iii of the original he divided into two, the 

1 Ed. A. W. von Schlegel and C. Lassen (1829-31) ; 1 ’. Peterson, BSS. 33, 1887. 
* Fleet, JR AS. 1912, pp. 1039-46. 



first being War, the second Peace, obviously as a pendant to the 
pair of opposites already contained in Books i and ii. His new 
Book iv was composed by inventing a new frame story, and 
placing in it part of the stories of the original Book iii. Further, 
Book V of the original was divided between Books iii and iv. 
Book iv of the original was wholly dropped, and several stories 
from Book i were placed in the new Book iv. Moreover, various 
tales of the original were simply omitted and new ones inserted 
in all four books, with the result that perhaps two-fiflhs of the 
original prose and a third of the verses are found. The sources 
of the new matter are obscure. The tale of the mouse which 
a pious hermit changed into a cat, a dog, and a tiger successively, 
but reduced it to its original form when it sought to destroy 
its benefactor, is perhaps merely a revised edition of a similar 
anecdote in the Mahdbhdraia regarding a dog. The tale (ii. 6) 
of the woman who carried on an intrigue with the son of the 
local headman, and who was clever enough to save them both 
from the lad’s father and her own spouse, has its original home 
in the Qukasaptatiy that of Viravara, perhaps, in the Vetdlapanca- 
vihfatikd. It itself has been rendered into several vernaculars 
besides Bengali. 

Narayana s style, as intended for instruction in Sanskrit, is 
simple and normally satisfactorily easy; the chief difficulties 
occur in the verses which he took over. A considerable number 
of the stanzas are probably his own work, and if so he deserves 
considerable credit for fluent versification. Artistically, no doubt, 
the massing of verses is an error, but he shares the mistake with 
the author of the Simplicior. His language is distinctly rendered 
more monotonous by the devotion to passive constructions and 
the avoidance of any rare or difficult verbal forms or of unusual 
syntactical constructions. It is, therefore, surprising to find in 
him one stanza of unique construction : 

samldpitdndm viadhurair vacobhir : mithyopaedraig ca vaglkrtd- 

dfavatdm graddadhatdm ca lake : kim arthindni vancayiiavyam 
asti f 

* Is it right to deceive the needy, with whom one has conversed 
in honeyed words and whom one has reduced into one’s power 

the HITOPADEQA a 65 

hLt‘” « '■>» very moment when their faith and 

hop^ are aet on onef The nominal nse of the gerundive fa 

n,T:^msL*or,°' ’.r'” gtaL.; The 

maxims aie often happily framed : 

martavyam iti yad duhkham purnsasyopajayate 
(akyas tenanumanena paro pi pariraksitum. 

iL°nh.'‘"f‘ “P i" a man at the 

rate/" Dr/tr„r.pp'eam„re: 

y‘^thaprakrtya madhuram gavdvi 

Jl' ‘=vil man that he recites the 

t^mn^; ' ’■ always 

triumphs, as inevitably as milk is sweet,’ ^ 


the brhatkatha and its descendants 

I. Gtmadhya and the Brhatkatha 
o?G„'„5d‘h7. “r'"k " h'’^ "’f ' h™ 

So..dcva son in h. yadsm..a':ZV:.:Z 

inscripSrr«7,r'w“r “ '" ^ C.n,bodL' 

Sion to Prakrit ";o»«ons Gupadhya and his aver- 

boll A D ^ „f <h' existence 

Zl ‘omant.c work by Gunadhya. 

v.r°ata ?n''Zc 7 T' -'h ““'e 

for a new tale related^t t, ^ Parvati 

inter atta AcJ V 5^*^ substance of the Brhatkatha, 

Jaya, who repeated h"to^lvr,rthc';? " ‘' '° 

Pu,i.d.„ta to iose hi, rank, whi^h hf was'"n5rregr„n'tThe 

hetd he Yak K° “ KebabhOti the tale L had “ 

fZZ unfortunate under a curse 


shonlH ta was cursed to leave heaven until he 

of time heard from Kanabhuti the tale. In course 

9 mb. , becoming the minister of Nanda. he finally retired to the 

!■■ Ucote, £ssai sur Gunadhya et la Brhalkatha (1908). 


Vindhya and there told to Kanabhuti the tale' of the seven 
emperors of the Vidyadharas, and attained release. Gunadhya 
meantime had been born at Pratisthita or Pratisthana on the 
Godavari as a reincarnation of Malyavant ; he is in high favour 
with Satavahana, but the latter suffers a severe mortification when 
during the water play with his wives he is told by his queen not 
to throw any more on her {modakaih), which he in his ignorance 
of the laws of verbal combination misunderstands as a request to 
be pelted with sweetmeats — an appalling request if the ancient 
Indian sweets were like the modern. Dejected, he refuses to be 
comforted unless he can learn Sanskrit. Gunadhya offers to 
teach him in six years, but when Qarvavarman the author of the 
Kdtantra laughs at this offer, and suggests that he can do it in 
six months, Gunadhya vows to use neither Sanskrit, Prakrit, nor 
the vernacular if the deed is done. It is accomplished and Guna- 
dhya wanders disconsolate in the Vindhya, where Kanabhuti 
meets him and relates the tales learned from Vararuci. Gunadhya 
would record them, but must write in PaifacI, the language of the 
goblins, as he is debarred from use of any other speech by his vow. 
His disciples take the vast work to the king Satavahana, who 
rejects it. Gunadhya recites it to the beasts and birds, burning 
the manuscript as he proceeds; the beasts, intent on the sweet 
poetry, become thin, and the cooks in the royal kitchen no longer 
serve good soup. Hence the marvel is revealed and the king 
saves one-seventh of the 700,000 ^lokas of the original, the tale 
preserved in the Brhaikathd, The Nepalese version contained 
in the Nepdlamdhdtmya is different. We hear nothing of Vara,- 
ruci-Katyayana, there is but one sinner Bhrngin who enters the 
private room of Qiva and Parvati in bee form ; he is reborn at 
Mathura as Gunadhya, becomes a Pandit of king Madana of 
Ujjain, is vanquished by ^arvavarman, and is advised to write in 
Pai9aci by a seer Pulastya. Nothing is said of the pledge as to 
language, naturally enough, for Nepal lay outside the interest on 
this point of India proper. 

The legend seems to have been known already in some form 
to Bana, and therefore must be moderately old ; how far and in 
what form it goes back to Gunadhya, it is idle to say. The loca- 
tion of Gunadhya is clearly different in the two sources, for it is 
vain to seek to make out that there has been confusion between 


Pratis^hana on the Godavari and a place of like name at the 
junction of the Ganges and the Yamuna. What is clear is that 
Ujjain or Kaugambi was the scene whence Gunadhya derived 
much of his inspiration, which is a very different thing from the 
place where he was in royal honour and composed his work. The 
cennexion with Satavahana, which the Kashmirian recensions 
suggest, is borne out to some extent by certain facts. In the first 
place, the Satavahanas were at one time patrons of Prakrit as 
opposed to Sanskrit literature ; the evidence of the inscriptions ^ 
shows that Sanskrit was used by their Ksatrapa rivals before they 
adopted it, and the Maharastrl lyric flourished under them. 
Secondly, the mention of the study of Sanskrit in this connexion 
does suggest that there was a tradition regarding the time when 
the Satavahanas determined to copy the Ksatrapas and Sanskrit 
became popular in court. Further we cannot go. 

Nor can we say anything definite of the date of Gunadhya. 
The connexion with the Satavahanas after all means nothing 
definite even if real, and the most important evidence we could 
have would be a clear ^ allusion in literature to, or employment 
of, the Bfhatkathd before Dandin or Bana. It may be ^ that 
Bhasa’s dramas drew some inspiration from this source, but we 
have no strict proof. We can fairly claim that Gunadhya is not 
later than A, D. 500, but to place him in the first century A. D. is 
quite conjectural, nor in reality is any other later date more 

Obscure also is the question of the form of the work. The 
Kashmirian version suggests that what Gunadhya produced was a 
work in Qokas, but that may be quite misleading, and on the other 
hand we have the express statement of Dandin that a Katha to 
which type he refers the Brhatkathd was written in prose. Verses 
may have been interwoven as in the case of the Jdtakamdld, but 
this must remain a mere hypothesis, and there is no other evidence 
to invalidate the impression given by Dandin. A prose citation 

^ Bloch, MHanges Lhi, pp. 15 f. ; L^vi, JA. 1902, i 109 ff. 

* The supposed Tamil version of the 2nd cent. a. d. (S. K. Aiyangar, Ancient India^ 
pp- 338, 337) is too dubious in date to be evidence. The alleged version into Sanskrit 
by Durvimta(? 6th cent.) is quite dubious (R. Narasimhachar, JRAS. 1913, pp. 389 f.); 
see Fleet, JRAS. 1911, pp. 186-8. 

* Denied by Ilertel, Pdla und Gopdla^ pp. I53f. ; cf. P. D. Gune, Ann. Bhand. 
/nst., ii. I ff. 


by Hemacandra may conceivably be from the Brhatkathd, but it 
would be quite idle to assert that it was ; it may have come from 
a later recension or from some other source. 

The dialect used was Pai^aci, and over this term a controversy 
has raged, accentuated by the fact that we really cannot be sure 
that we have a single relic of the Brhatkathdy still less that so 
late a grammarian as Markandeya (17th cent.) actually' had the 
text before him. A further confusion has arisen from Sir G. 
Grierson’s decision to group a certain number of north-western 
dialects, spoken in Kafiristan, the Swat valley, Chitral, and Gilgit, 
as Pi^aca languages, claiming both that they have a true relation 
to the ancient Pai9aci dialect, and were so called because the 
speakers were cannibals, and thus styled Pifacas, eaters of raw 
flesh, by their neighbours. The assertions of the grammarians are 
confused and unsatisfactory, nor is the matter improved by the 
existence of two schools of Prakrit grammar with divergent tradi- 
tions and views, especially as these are represented by compara- 
tively late texts. But, as we have seen, there is more probability 
that Pai9aci was a dialect rather of the Vindhyas than of the 
north-west ; the hardening of to / or of other soft letters is not, 
as Grierson’s theory requires to make it plausible, solely a feature 
of the north-west, but occurs in other dialects including Pali, and 
the fact that Pai9aci has but one sibilant prejudices its claim to 
be akin to the north-west dialects which in A9oka’s time and 
later preserve distinctions. ^ Lac6te, however, while accepting 
connexion with the north-west, agrees with the view that the 
phenomenon of hardening is a sign of the use of an Aryan speech 
among a non-Aryan people, and holds that Gunadhya adapted 
this dialect to literary purposes, avoiding any too serious devia- 
tions from Sanskrit, and, if we substitute a Vindhyan dialect 
spoken in a Dravidian area, we probably approach the truth. At 
least for the connexion with the Vindhya we have the clear 
assertions of the Kashmirian recension, which had no special 
motive for misrepresentation of the facts, and the testimony of 

' As Grierson asserts, AMJV. i, 121 ; JRAS. 1913? P- 39 *- 
Brhatkaihayam^ and common sense forbids us to assume that Markandeya used it, or 
that the quotation is really from Gunadhya’s own text and not, for instance, the Kash- 
mirian version. 

2 Chap, i, § 4. 


Raja^ekhara ^ is clear in favour of the actual use of Pai^acI in 
a wide region, including the Vindhya area. This view is much 
more plausible than Lac 6 te*s suggestion that Gunadhya picked 
up the idea of the dialect from some visitors from the north-west, 
his sphere of work lying round Kau9ambi and Ujjain, and Grierson 
admits that, even if originally a north-western dialect, Pai9aci 
might have been carried to the Vindhya. 

It is impossible to determine with precision the content of the 
Brhatkathd ; our sources are too slight, but we can gather a 
general impression of the task accomplished by Gunadhya. The 
sources on which he drew were, it is clear, three in number. The 
Rdmdyana gave him the motif of the search of a husband for 
a wife cruelly stolen from him soon after a happy marriage ; from 
Buddhist legends and other traditions of Ujjain and Kau9ambi 
he was deeply familiar with the tales of Pradyota or Mahasena 
and the gallant and dashing hero Udayana,^ whose love-adven- 
tures were famed for their number and variety ; he was also in 
touch with the many tales of sea-voyages and strange adventures 
in far lands which were current in the busy centres of Indian 
trade, and with the abundant fairy-tales and legends of magic 
current in India. From the latter source and from Buddhist 
legend he derived the conception of the emperor, Cakravartin, 
who is the secular counterpart of the Buddha ; Naravahanadatta, 
his hero, is born with the thirty-two auspicious signs which assure 
him Buddhahood if he enter the ascetic life, universal dominion if 
he remain in the affairs of the world. But the empire is not of 
this earth ; it is eSvSentially a fairy land, the realm of the Vidya- 
dharas, who dwell beyond the formidable defences of the Hima- 
layas and who by reason of their magic powers have semi-divine 
attributes. The Vidyadharas do not appear early in Indian 
religion, but we can recognize easily enough in them a contamina- 
tion of the old ideas of the Gandharvas with notions derived from 
the mysterious powers of Hindu seers and ascetics and Buddhist 
saints. The hero is a son of Udayana, and in effect is Udayana 
revised and remodelled for his new destiny, while the Rdmdyana 

' Kdvyamtmahsdy p. 51. 

* Cf. Przyluski, La Itgende de Pempereur Afoka^ pp. 74 ff. ; J. Hertel, BSGW. Ixix. 
4(1917); Lacdte, JA. 1919, i. 493 ff.; P. D. Gune, Ann* Bhand, Inst.^ ii. iff.; 
Burlingame, HOS. xxviii. 51, 62 f., 347-93. 


P‘“'- "P' «f M**"*- 

r, h^a°d >»' Manaaavega, and the eflbrta of 

her husband to discover her, in which he has the aid of his faith- 

u minister Gomukha. His success is accomplished simultane- 
ously with his winning the empire of the Vidyadharas just as the 

:rs °'l:f tt — i: 

tales for r. n-l r?‘ ^ the 

tales, for Gunadhya clearly was the poet not of kings so much as 

2smTn of h"^ H the seafarers, and even the handi- 

of the St • I ^ bourgeois epic, and in lieu 

of the sta nless purity of Rama we have as hero a son of Udayana 

thanh'ifflL‘" ^ff'^'^tion for Madanamancuka, 

there u Certainly even in the original 

there must have been much said of Naravahanadatta’s other 
loves and many a tale of adventurous journeyim^ as well as 
Marchen and fairy lore. In Gomukha we have I pfoture o^ 
a nrimister such as is Yaugandharayana in the dramas of Bhasa, 
bold, cnjgetic, courageous, if slightly devious in modern views 
cL'fl! "^'7 °;,®^P‘'^'""ts. The portrait of Madanamaii- 

cJZZT Inu^ Vasantasena in the 

ru^//a of Bhasa and still more clearly in the Mrcchakatika, 
a hetaira who hated her po.sition, and whose great aim was to be 

Sm T ^."'onian of family {kulasiri), and thus be permitted 

g mate marriage in lieu of compulsory polyandry. We have 
here perhaps a valuable chronological hint, if we could be sure 
that It was from the Brhatkat/ia that Bhasa really drew the picture. 

It IS sti iking at least, however, that the description of the eight 
wurts and the garden of the palace of Vasantasena in fhe 
Mrcchakatika but not in the Cdrudatta, should correspond 
minutely with the description of the place of Kalingaseiia given 
m the Brhatkathdglokasamgraha of Budhasvamin. 

Gunadhya’s influence is seen also in Dandin who borrowed 
kiZl>^“”’ ''“"ception of placing his 

g onds, in positions where a series of adventures drawn from 
ow 1 e IS allied to marvellous happenings of every kind. The 
ariangement indeed of the story may be due to the same cause, 

1 resembles the scene in which Naravahanadatta and his 

> Cf. Foucher, L'Art Grdo-Bcuidhique du Candhdra, ii. ,02 ff. 


friends, reunited after separation, recount their adventures to one 
another. The fantasy of Gunadhya lives on also in the Ya^asiilaka 
of Somadeva Suri and in the Tilakamahjarl of Dhanapala, both 
of whom recognize the importance of Gunadhya.^ Moreover, the 
name of his hero seems from his use of it to have won acceptance 
in royal usage as a suitable title for a prince as well as in litera- 
ture. But his enduring memorial is furnished by the versions of 
the Brhatkathd which have reached us. 

2. The Brhatkathd(lokasamgraha of Bndhasvdmin 

Budhasvamin, the author of the Qokasamgraha^ abbreviation 
in Qlokas of the Brhatkathd^ is no more than a name to us.^ 
The manuscripts of his work are from Nepal, but there is no 
mark otherwise of his Nepalese origin, which must remain merely 
a conjecture. The form of name is not modern ; but, as it is 
attested from early days down to the twelfth century, the probable 
date of one of the manuscripts, we reach no satisfactory result 
from that. If he is assigned to the eighth or ninth century, it is 
without any special ground save that the manuscript tradition 
suggests that a long time has elapsed before the extant manu- 
scripts came into being. 

The work preserved is merely a fragment, though there is no 
adequate reason to hold that it is defective at the beginning or 
that it ever contained anything as to the origin of the collection 
of tales comparable to the legend in the Kashmirian versions and 
the Nepdlamdhdtmya, It is divided into cantos {sargas)^ of which 
twenty-eight survive, probably a mere fraction of the original, 
though it extends to 4)539 verses. We are carried at once in 
medias res ; Pradyota dies, and is due to be succeeded by Gopala, 
but the latter, learning that he is credited with having disposed 
of his father, insists on his brother Piilaka reigning in lieu (i). 
Palaka is a bad ruler, and is induced by what he deems divine 
suggestion to abandon his throne to Avantivardhana, Gopala's 
son (ii). The latter falls in love with the daughter of a Matahga, 

' The degree of his originality may, of course, be questioned, and no poet is without 
some predecessor ; but his success points to a very real creative power, which permits 
us justly to ascribe to him the creation of the genre. 

* Ed. and trans. F. Lac6te, 1908 ff. 

Surasamanjan, who, like her father, is really of the race of the 
Vidyadharas ; he marries her, only to be snatched away with his 
bride by Ipphaka (Ityaka) a jealous Vidyadhara ; they are rescued 
by another of these genii, and the emperor Naravahana pro- 
nounces judgement in favour of the marriage (iii). The seers so 
admire the emperor’s judgement that they demand from him the 
account of his achievement of empire ; he consents to tell of the 
twenty-six marriages but only when Gaurl undertakes that his 
revelations will be kept religiously secret. He then tells the 
dosire of his father Udayana for a son, which ultimately is granted 
(v, vi). When young Naravahana grows up, he shows the sighs 
of a Cakravartin, and a Vidyadhara, Amitagati, recognizes them 
and attaches himself to him ; finally he wins the hand ofMadana- 
manjuka, daughter of Kalingasena who, however, is a hetaira, 
thus rendering a true union impossible (vii-xi). One day 
Madanamanjuka disappears, but is found under an A^oka ; she 
relates that Kubcra has demanded that she should be really 
married to Naravahanadatta ; this desire is conceded, but shortly 
after the king makes the unpleasant discovery that in lieu of his 
beloved he is really consorting with Vegavati. She reveals her- 
self to him as sister of Manasavega, a Vidyadhara, who has taken 
Madanamanjuka, but who cannot do her harm, just as Ravana 
could not put force on Sita in her captivity. Naravahanadatta 
celebrates a new marriage with her, but immediately after he is 
carried off by Manasavega; falling to earth, he finds himself in 
a well but is rescued (xii-xv). He is now lost, and posing as 
a student commences a new adventure, ending in marriage with 
Gandharvadatta, daughter of Sanudasa whose history is narrated 
at length (xvi-xviii). Two further marriages are in wait for him, 
that with Ajinavatl (xix, xx), and that with Priyadar^ana, whose 
bosom he recognized when it was revealed for a moment when 
she was posing as a merchant (xxi-xxvii). The next canto gives 
us only the beginning of a new marriage adventure, and, as so 
many more were still before him, the extent of the work can be 

There is much to prove that Budhasvamin followed far more 
faithfully his original than the Kashmirian authors. Assuming 
that the Qlokasamgraha was written on the same scale through- 
out, it may have contained 25,000 verses, certainly an adequate 

3149 T 


number but not necessarily excessive. On the other hand, com- 
parison of relevant portions of the work with the Kathdsaritsd- 
gara shows that the latter is very greatly abridged in the vital 
parts of the narrative, those intimately connected with Narava- 
hanadatta. It is a reasonable conclusion, therefore, that the 
Kashmirian versions contain much added matter, especially the 
episodes which are merely in nominal connexion with the main 
story. This impression is certainly strengthened by the fact that 
the character of Madanamaiicuka and her relations with Narava- 
hanadatta are much more coherently set out in the floiasam- 
graha ; in the Kashmirian versions both her mother and herself 
are provided with royal connexions, Kalingadatta and Madana- 
vega, in order to spare us the discomfort of seeing a king marry 
a lady of the demi-monde. The bourgeois character of Gandhar- 
vadatta and her merchant father are similarly minimized in the 
Kashmirian version ; they spare Ajinavati, because she was 
a princess, but omit Priyadar^ana as being of middle-class origin. 
The ^lokasamgraha again In many details serves to explain 
obscurities in the Kashmirian version and to motive adequately 
incoherent episodes. On the other hand, it is fair to note that 
Budhasvamin assumes that we know the tale of Udayana, and 
that we need not doubt that in the original Brhatkaihd it was 
recognized, though Budhasvamin preferred to confine his work 
to the adventures of Naravahanadatta. From the paucity of his epi- 
sodes we may fairly conclude that these were not over-numerous 
in the original, though it is impossible to stress this point. 

Budhasvamin is unquestionably worthy of praise for his art. 
Admitting his debt to Gunadhya does not diminish the pleasure 
afforded by his lively outlook on life, the complex picture of 
adventure and marvels which he paints, or the romance of his 
well-conceived characters and the kaleidoscope of the swiftly 
altering scenes in which they are placed by fate or their own 
action. He restrains his desire for mannered description of which 
he doubtless felt competent by the necessity of getting on with 
the tale, and displays his virtuosity, partly by his large vocabulary 
with its not rare Sanskritizations of Prakrit terms which are 
doubtless sometimes derived from him by the lexicographers, and 
partly by the revival of obsolescent forms such as aorists. As 
a rule, he is simple, clear, fluent without verbosity, and if he 


seems on the whole rather devoid of ornament the magnitude of 
his undertaking may be deemed excuse enough for a very venial 

3 . The Kashmirian Brhatkatha 

The older view that the Kathdsaritsdgara and the Brhatka- 
thdmahjari were directly drawn from the Brhatkatha cannot be 
retained ' in view of the discovery of the Qlokasamgraha, The 
Kashmirian recensions show themselves at once as vitally similar 
in contrast with the Nepalese and leave no option but to assume 
that they are derived from one source, and that not the original 
Brhatkathd. The date of this form of the Brhatkatha is clearly 
impossible to decide beyond that it must have been considerably 
before A.D. 1000. Nor can we say who the author was, or by 
what process the work assumed form. It may have been the out- 
come of a continued process of change if the story was regarded 
as specially attractive. All that can be conjectured is that the 
work received its final form through two main processes. In the 
first place, the essentials of the legend of Naravahanadatta, 
including his parentage, were extracted from the original of 
Gunadhya, and abbreviated. Then, secondly, the account was 
expanded and completed by inserting as satisfactorily as was 
possible other great legend-complexes which were popular in 
Kashmir, making a work essentially different from the original 
Brhatkathd because the original theme, the adventures of Nara- 
vahanadatta, had fallen into a position of subordinate interest 
and the episodes had become of predominant importance. Which 
the additions were it is, of course, frankly impossible ^ to say on 
the strength of the present evidence ; the absence of the rest of 
the Qlokasamgraha deprives us of the one useful control. But 
we may reasonably hold that the additions included both the 
version of the Pancatantra and that of the Vetdlapancavihgatika 
which are found in both Ksemendra and Somadeva, but which 
have plainly no real or original connexion with the legend of 
N aravahanad atta. 

The language and form of the new text do not permit of pre- 

* Despite F. D. K. Bosch, De Ugende van Jtmutavahana (1914), pp. 85 (T. 

2 Snbandhu may have known the Vikramaditya legends (cf. Vasavadatta, p. no). 


else determination. It is possible that the references to Pai9acl 
forms and citations in the case of Hemacandra are derived 
from this Kashmirian text, and if so they would show that the 
work was handed down in a form of Paigaci. Nor, of course, is 
there anything implausible in such a proceeding. It is not* rare 
for a dialect once established to remain in use for a certain work 
after the original has been changed. We have the perfectly clear 
statement of Somadeva that the language was altered, and this 
can hardly mean anything less than a translation. If the original 
had been in Sanskrit, it seems incredible that it would not have 
influenced both Ksemendra and Somadeva sufficiently to cause 
frequent verbal similarities, and this is not the case. The simila- 
rities which do occur, as for instance in the stories of the Paiica- 
tantra, can easily be explained by the fact that both authors 
were dealing with a work in a dialect which admittedly was con- 
siderably more Sanskritic than the ordinary Prakrit; indeed, on 
one list of the relative position of Prakrits Pai9aci is ranked after 
Sanskrit in honour. 

4. Ksemendra s Brhatkathdmahjarl 

The work of Ksemendra^ was probably produced in his youth 
like the Manjaris of the Mahdbhdrata and the Rdmdyana which 
he composed, perhaps in accordance with his own doctrine that 
the would-be poet ought to undertake exercises of this kind. 
The character of these abridgements is well known ; they are 
dry and sober, reproducing faithfully, though with much omission 
and curtailment often to obscurity, their originals, but depriving 
them of all life and attraction. Ksemendra has, moreover, in lieu 
of seeking to write interesting summaries, thought it enough to 
relieve the barrenness of his versions by interpolating elegant 
descriptions at intervals, a procedure not to be commended, as it 
merely adds to the bulk of the works without serving any useful 
purpose. But his accuracy, which we can test for the epics, is 
assured, and therefore we may a priori assume that his account 
of the contents of the Brhatkathd of Kashmir accords with 

It appears from the coincidence of the two recensions that the 

1 Ed. KM. 69, 1901. Cf. Buhler, lA. i. 302 ff. ; Levi, JA. 1885, ii. 397 ff. ; 1886, 
i. 216 ff. ; Speyer, Studies about the Kathdsaritsdgara^ pp. 9 ff. 


original was divided into eighteen Lambhakas as its main divi* 
sions,and it is a plausible conjecture that the term applies to the 
victories of the hero, each section dealing with some achievement 
of his. As we have it in both our sources, the work begins with 
the Kathapitha, which gives as an introduction to the tale the 
legend of Gunadhya already noted. In Book ii, the basis of the 
story is furnished in the adventures of Udayana, which are carried 
in iii to his winning of Padmavati, the book taking its style 
Lavanaka from the place where the first queen, Vasavadatta, was 
reported to have perished, a necessary preliminary to the second 
espousals. In iv we have the birth of the hero, Naravahanadatta, 
who is to be thc2 emperor of the Vidyadharas. The next book, 
Caturdarika, is decidedly episodical. The Vidyadhara Qaktivega 
comes to visit the future sovereign, and relates how he himself has 
reached the wonderful city of the Vidyadharas and won the four 
beauteous maidens whence the title of the book is derived. From 
this point Ksemendra and Somadeva diverge vitally. Ksemendra 
continues with the legend of Suryaprabha (vi), a strange and 
remarkable tale, of how that hero rose from royal rank to becom- 
ing emperor of the Vidyadharas after a desperate struggle against 
his foe (^Iruta^arman, who was finally induced to content himself 
with a minor kingdom, thanks to the direct personal intervention 
of (J)iva himself. The tale is remarkable in its obvious blending 
of mythology involving Vedic and epic beliefs, Buddhist legends, 
and popular story matter ; but in Ksemendra’s hands it suffers 
greatly from excessive condensation. The two books, it will be 
seen, have a certain relevance to each other and to the work as 
a whole, despite their episodic character ; they deal with the 
career of other aspirants to emperorship over the Vidyadharas. 
In vii we return to the main story a little more clearly. The 
essence of the book is a long account of Kalingadatta, father of 
Kalingasena, who serves merely to give his daughter a royal 
ancestry; Udayana is sought in marriage by her and he would 
gladly wed her, but Yaugandharayana resists the match, lest the 
king should become too much enamoured of his wife and neglect 
his duties, a ludicrous excuse seeing that he had already arranged 
two marriages for the prince. Doubtless in a more original form 
it was Kalingasena's character as hetaira which motived the 
objections. At any rate Udayana is induced to abandon the 


project, but he determines to allow her daughter to wed Narava- 
hanadatta, and the book carries us to his consent to a formal 
marriage. Book viii, which is very short, is styled Vela after the 
name of the character of whom and her husband a legend is nar- 
rated, quite episodically, but it ends with the vital statement that 
Madanamancuka has been abducted by the Vidyadhara Manasa- 
.vep. The prince is desolated, but before he is to rejoin his 
beloved he has to be the hero of four episodic books (ix-xii). In 

and ends by espousing another 
Vidyadhara maiden, Lalitalocana, with whom he spends time on 
mount Malaya, but is saddened by longing for Madanamancuka • 
Lalitalocana disappears, but a hermit, Pi 9 angajata, comforts him 
by telling him the tale of Mrgankadatta, a prince of Ayodhya 
who won in marriage ?a5ankavati, daughter of his enemy Karma- 
sena of Ujjain, who gives the book its name (ix). The next 
consolation is administered by Kanva and consists in the narra- 
tion of a vast cycle of legends of the emperor Vikramaditya, 
though It IS inconceivable that Gunadhya himself could have been 
guilty of so flagrant an anachronism ; the title is Visamacila (x). 
In XI Madiravati, the prince is encouraged to persevere by the 
tale of two Brahmins who by manly effort {purusakdra) succeeded 
in defying the decrees of fate and achieving their desire, 

and he also recovers the missing and apparently not much 
regretted, Lalitalocana. Yet another episode follows ; Gomukha 
tells the tale of the emperor Muktaphalaketu and his beloved 
Badmavati, who gives the book its name (xii). 

After this long interlude action is resumed in Book xiii, Panca, 
so called because in it the prince wins five more brides, Vidya- 
dhara maidens who are determined to espouse him. The main 
business, however, of the book is the effort to attain Madanaman- 
cuka. With the aid of Prabhavati, a Vidyadhara, the prince 
penetrates to her place of confinement, using a woman’s form 
lent by Prabhavati; as she, however, has to resume it, suddenly 
e f 'scovered and Manasavega has him tried by the court of 

the Vidyadharas, but will not accept their decision in his favour. 
Prabhavati takes him in safety away from the Vidyadharas; 
ultimately he reaches KaU9ambi, and many Vidyadharas join 
h^ for an attack on his foes. After great efforts, he attains 
giva s favour, and in a great battle slays Gaurimunda and Mana- 


savega in single combat. He prepares to attack his remaining 
foe Mandaradeva in the north of Kailasa, and marries the five 
damsels who seek his love. The next step ought obviously to be 
the attack on Mandaradeva, as it is in Somadeva, but there now 
occurs a long series of episodes which doubtless had been inserted 
here in the Kashmirian Brhatkathd, In Book xiv he marries 
Ratnaprabha, whose name the book bears, and pays an important 
visit to the land of camphor, returning in a flying machine of the 
kind which the Yavanas, Greeks, were experts at constructing. 
In Book XV we have a sort of duplication of this adventure ; he 
marries Alarhkaravati, and proceeds to an expedition to a White 
Island or Continent ^ where he worships Narayana with an 
elaborate prayer written in the most finished Kavya style ; the 
parallel to the famous episode of the Mahdbhdrata in which 
sages seek the ^vetadvipa and take part in the worship of a 
wonderful deity — which has been deemed a reference to actual 
experience of Nestorian rites or even of Alexandrian Christianity 
- — is complete, and suggests very strongly that the Kashmirian or 
the original Brhatkathd borrowed the episode from the epic as 
we know it. The next book (xvi) is much more banal ; it gives 
the prince another wife, ^aktiya^as, and imparts a number of 
unimportant episodes. We resume now in Book xvii the lost 
thread. Before he can attack Mandaradeva, Naravahanadatta 
must receive from the sage Vamadeva on mount Malaya the 
seven jewels, emblematic of sovereignty. He then reaches the 
north by passing under a great tunnel, and by his offer of his 
own head induces the dread Kalaratri, who guards the exit, to 
permit his passage. Mandaradeva falls, five more maidens are 
wed— a repetition of the motif m Book xiii, and the great conse- 
cration, Mahabhiseka, whence the book is named, is duly cele- 
brated, the emperor insisting on his father being present. The 
work is now finished, but very inconveniently a further book 
(xviii) is necessary ; under the style Suratamanjarl it tells how, 
after the death of Pradyota and Udayana, Gopala and Palaka 
resigned their tenure of the kingship of Ujjain, how Avanti- 
vardhana wedded the heroine, and how the two were protected 
against a jealous Vidyadhara by the emperor. The only 

* Cf. W. E. Clark, JAOS. xxJtix. 209-42 ; Garbe, Tndien und das Christentum^ 
pp. 193 ff. ; Grierson, lA. xxxvii. 251 ff., 373 


excuse for this absurd position of the tale is the fact of the exist- 
ence of Book i with its account of the telling of the tale by 
Gunadhya. In the original, as the Nepalese version shows, the 
episode of Suratamanjarl led up to the telling by Naravahana- 
datta himself of his adventure, which would have clashed with 
the version of Book i, and the old exordium was, therefore, rele- 
gated to an appendix. This view is confirmed by the fact that 
Somadeva in his Book vi expressly tells us that Naravahana- 
datta is relating his adventures in the third person, an admission 
that he knew that the tale of Suratamanjarl had originally been 
placed at the beginning of the work. On this point Ksemendra 
is silent in his corresponding Madanamancuka book (vii), but he 
reveals the fact in the summary {iipasaihhdra) with which he ends 
his poem, for he tells us, for the first time, that the work is sup- 
posed to be set forth by Naraval^nadatta to the sage Kafyapa 
on a visit. 

Two other points at once stand out revealing the defect of the 
original Kashmirian recension. The break between the end of 
Vela (viii) and the continuation in Panca (xiii) is lamentable ; 
but its harshness is concealed in some measure by making the 
intervening books recognize the plight of the prince and the 
endeavour to console him during his search. Evidently it was 
thus that the compilers of the Kashmirian recension hoped to 
work in not too awkwardly their extra matter, and in a sense 
they succeeded. The same thing cannot be said regarding the 
interpolation of Books xiv-xvi between Paftca and the book of 
triumph and consecration. The break is ludicrous ; Naravahana- 
datta, who is left at the end of Panca as accepted as lord by the 
great majority of the Vidyadharas, but who has Mandaradeva 
still to overcome, is now treated for three books as a prince in 
the home of his father, without any consciousness of his great 
adventures or his imperial dignity in the land of the Vidyadharas. 
Here the compiler had evidently not the skill to make even 
a passable transition, and Ksemendra loyally followed his in- 
coherence. This is conclusive evidence against the original 
Bf^hatkathd ever having contained this material ; no author 
would permit himself such confusion, while a compiler could 
easily slip into it when he desired to knit together varying 
cycles of legend. 



5 . SomadevcLS Kathasaritsagara 

Somadeva, a Brahmin of Kashmir, son of Rama, wrote the 
Kathasaritsagara^ between 1063 order to divert 

the troubled mind of Suryamati, a princess of Jalandhara, wife 
of Ananta and mother of Kala^a, his work falling, therefore, 
a considerable period after that of Ksemendra. In addition to 
the division into Lambhakas Somadeva has one of his own com- 
position into Tarangas, 124 in all, the name, ‘billows*, being 
chosen obviously in relation to the title of the work, which is 
most naturally analysed as ‘Ocean of the Rivers of Stories*, 
rather than with Lacote as ‘ (Brhat-) Katha, an Ocean of Rivers 
(of Stories)*. These divisions are not original; Ksemendra, 
indeed, has subdivisions for some of the longer books which he 
calls Gucchas, ‘ clusters *, in the older manner. Kalhana appa- 
rently was influenced in his choice of title for his chronicle by 

Somadeva sets out by telling his purpose, and one stanza of 
his has caused trouble, evoking different renderings from Hall, 
L^vi, Tawney, Speyer, and Lacote: 

aucitydnvayaraksd ca yathd^akti vidhiyate 
kathdrasdvighdtena kdvydhgasya ca yojafid. 

The sense of this stanza appears to me clear : ‘ Literary con- 
vention and the connexion of topics have been presented as best 
I could, as well as the arrangement of a part of the poem so as 
not to offend against the sentiment of the story (or the story and 
its sentiment).* We have, it seems, a recognition of the fact that 
there has been change of order, and that it was made in order to 
preserve the sentiment in the tale. This accords exactly with 
what we find in the arrangement. In the first five books there is 
no change. But for the rest Somadeva was dominated by his 
desire tp preserve the effect of the poem, and obviously this 
compelled the breach of the gap between Panca and Mahabhiseka ; 
in his text the transition is perfect ; the former book ends with 
the decision of the prince to obtain the jewels necessary for the 
coronation of a would-be emperor, and the next book carries on 

^ Ed. Durgaprasad, NSP. 1903 ; trans. C. H. Tawney, BI. 1880—4. Cf. J. S. 
Speyer, Studies about the Kathasaritsagara (1908). 


the proposal, though in a slightly casual manner which Somadeva 
has not altogether obliterated. This left him, however, with 
three books to fit in, Ratnaprabha, Alamkaravatl, and ^aktiya9as, 
and obviously necessitated a complete overhauling of the earlier 
part of the poem in order not to overburden it. The solution 
adopted was to fit these three books, which all deal with 
adventures of the prince before he became emperor, in the space 
before Panca and to eliminate from the earlier matter two books, 
which could, as not dealing with the hero’s own adventures but 
merely being stories told to him, be fitted in as an appendix, 
that is the books Padmavatl and Visama9ila. The arrangement 
of the material before Panca is carried out artistically in so far 
as an effort is made to interpose books mainly episodic with 
those giving important if incidental acts of the hero. Thus 
after the fifth book which is episodic we have the important book 
Madanamancuka (vi) ; this is followed by the Ratnaprabha (vii) ; 
the Suryaprabha (viii), which intervenes before Alamkaravatl (ix), 
is essentially merely episodic ; Qaktiya9as (x) runs naturally on 
from Alamkaravatl as containing incidental stories ; then follow 
Vela (xi), (pa9ankavatl (xii), Madiravati (xiii), the all-important 
Panca and Mahabhiseka (xiv and xv), and, by way of appendix, 
Suratamanjari, Padmavatl, and Visama9lla (xvi-xviii). One 
change in the actual contents of a book was necessary. In 
Ksemendra and probably in the original Vela was not merely 
episodic ; it contained at the close the vital element of the dis- 
appearance of Madanamancuka, which explains the grief of the 
king alluded to in the following books. Nothing of this sort 
accorded with Somadeva's plan of working in the books Ratna- 
prabha, Alamkaravatl, and ^aktiya9as, and therefore the allusion 
had to disappear, although it was not possible for Somadeva to 
avoid leaving occasional traces in the books before Panca in his 
order that Madanamancuka had already been lost. 

We may admit at once that despite his efforts Somadeva has 
not succeeded in producing a unified work. But the merit of the 
Kathdsaritsagara does not rest on construction. It stands on 
the solid fact that Somadeva has presented in an attractive and 
elegant if simple and unpretentious form a very large number of 
stories which have for us a very varied appeal, either as amusing 
or gruesome or romantic or as appealing to our love of wonders 


Tu? ^f^ording parallels to tales familiar from 

densation and obscurity, tales can lose all point and interest • 
Somadeva, how by care the point can be fully expressed without 
f^uetot ereader We meet with the old bu't still amusSlig 
tales of fools, scattered in the Kathasaritsagara among the tale! 
of Its version of the Pancaiantra, but collected together after “ 
y Ksemendra ; chance proves that half at least go back to 
a collection made before A.D.450, used in a workly a monk 
r Sanghasena, and rendered into Chinese by his pupil 
Gunavrddhi in 49a > We hear once more of the foolish ser^an^s 

thes in them and thus protect them against the rain, of the 
0 w o insists that his father never violated chastity and that 
he must have been a mind-born son, of the fellow who filled 
noTT with seven cakes and then bitterly lamented that he had 
not eaten the seventh first and saved the rest, and we may, if 
young enough, still laugh with the stones at these japes. Rogues 
who prosper lend another series of tales; one' is ingelus 
dressed as a rich merchant, he craved an interview with the king 
to whom he promised for the honour of a daily repetition of the 

Uie courtiers, thinking that he is all-powerful with their master 

good sense to share with the king to whom he reveals his 
effective ruse. Much is told also of the thief, gambler, rou^, but 

fdlTf T Indian literature the deau 

sdf T- ^ """" him- 

-1 ^ j we may forgive him his 

vi deeds ; he IS to suffer after death an age in hell by reason of 

his misdeeds, but a single gift to a pious person entitles him to 

opportunity to gather 

Indf"fR”*”‘'' P'a«s of 

ndia, thus acquiring such merit as to remain Indra. But yet 

^retf« H 

ascetics denounced; one of them who in order to get into his 

rAi' 5 . hi (1913). ' 


possession a pretty girl frightens her father into exposing her in 
a chest Danae-like, finds the wrong chest, and has his nose and . 
ears bitten ofif by an ape, while the girl is rescued by a prince. 

A book of tales about women seems to have been used by the 
compilers of the Kashmir recension, to judge from the mass of 
stories, unhappily often to their disadvantage; we hear of mur- 
derous women, of one who mutilates her husband in revenge for 
a beating, of one who regularly betrays him but insists on burning 
herself on his pyre, of the woman who got rid of ten husbands, 
and apparently met her match in the man who had disposed of 
ten wives, but defeated him also and became so unpleasantly 
notorious that she turned into an ascetic. Full of reminiscences 
of various Marchen motifs is the tale of the king whose white 
elephant can be healed only by the touch of a chaste woman ; 
none of 80,000 in the kingdom can help it, until a poor young 
wife succeeds; the king marries her sister, immures her in 
a palace, and is after all betrayed. But Somadeva gives us also 
tales of faith and truth among women. Devasmita revenges her- 
self on her would-be lovers by giving them assignations, but 
merely in order to brand them ; charming is the picture of an 
Indian Philemon and Baukis.^ It is death to tell another what 
one has remembered of existence in a former birth ; nevertheless 
the queen of Dharmadatta and her husband are alike seized with 
the feeling that they must tell each other of their suddenly 
aroused memories. The story is pretty ; the lady was a faithful 
servant in the house of a Brahmin, while her husband was the 
loyal retainer of a merchant ; they lived together in poverty, 
eating the little they had over when gods, ancestors, and guests 
had taken their share. In time of famine a Brahmin comes, the 
husband gives him the little they had, and then his life leaves 
him, indignant that he had preferred the Brahmin to himself. 
His wife follows him in death, and the same fate again meets 
them when they have exchanged these memories of a faithful 

The religious world of Somadeva reminds us of the super- 
stitious nature of the people of Kashmir ; we can hardly doubt 
that the Kashmir recension added readily anything that seemed 
interesting in this regard, even if Somadeva himself is rather 

' J. S. Speyer, DU indischc Theosophie^ pp. 97 . 


mcHned to rationalizing Marchen. giva and Parvatl in her dread 
forms are the great deities, though Visnu inevitably appears in 
the episode of Naravahana’s visit to the gvetadvipa. Human 
offerings are specially frequent, the Pulindas, the Bhillas, are 
regarded as ever on the outlook for victims for the goddess to 
whom Jimutavahana is prepared to offer homage before his act 
of self-sacrifice. Witchcraft is taken as a matter of course, and 
many details are given of the dreadful deeds of the witches and 
of the horrible scenes enacted nightly at the places where the 
dead are burned or flung out as prey for beasts, birds, and the 
ghouls who haunt these cemeteries ; in his eeriness of description 
Somadeva is a match for the author of the Malatimadhava. 
Buddhistic traits are not rare, though only sporadic ; it must be 
remembered that, as we know from Kalhana, Buddhism had in 
a degraded form a strong hold in Kashmir. A number of tales 
are told to relate the action of Karman in determining man’s 
life ; we have a legend of a prince who tears out an eye because 
women loved so deeply his beauty, a parallel to the Mittavindaka 
Jataka, and the legend of Jimutavahana, though the Buddhist 
origin of that has been questioned.* The Vetalapancavmfatikd 
legends show distinct Buddhist traits. On the other hand, we 
have frequent mention of the worship of the Linga, Qiva’s phallic 
symbol, and of the Mothers, and popular superstition is every- 
where abundant. The gods and minor spirits mingle freely in 
ordinary life, innumerable apparent mortals are merely beings 
driven from heaven by curses who can be restored to their 
former estate by some act of cruelty or kindness. The love of 
the marvellous is fully satisfied by tales of adventures at sea, 
with shipwrecks and subterranean palaces, or not less marvellous 
wanderings on land to strange places like camphor-land where 
princesses can easily be won. The loves of Naravahanadatta are 
too numerous and too inevitable — for they are all fore-ordained 
even if we are only told so at the end — to be exciting, but there 
are many others recounted in episodes, and a picture or a dream 
often proves the starting-point for a deep if transient affection. 
Nor can we ignore the interest lent by the inclusion of effective 
versions of the Vetala cycle, of the Pancatantra, of anecdotes of 

' Bosch, De legende van Jimutavahana, pp. viii. 


Vikramaditya, as well as those in the less satisfactory book 

Somadeva’s taste is shown by the fact that, though he likes to 
conclude a tale with a different metre, only 761 of his 21,388 
verses are in more elaborate metres, and he resists the temptation 
to indulge himself in word-plays, contenting himself with the 
swift easy flow of the simple narrative. He permits himself in 
his metre a certain lightness of touch exhibited in minor negli- 
gences, which in no way make it inaccurate, but save it from the 
pedantry of following in absolute strictness the rules regarding 
caesuras and Sandhi rigorously adopted by the great Kavya 
writers. His abnegation is the more remarkable because he 
obviously could have won repute as a poet in the elaborate style. 
As it is, we owe him many happy passages in which simplicity 
is not inconsistent with ornament. Thus we have the description, 
brief but effective, of a storm at sea : 

aho vdyur apurvo ^am ity dfcaryavafdd iva 
vydghurnante sma jaladhes tatesu vanardjayah, 
vyatyastdg ca muhur vdtdd adharottaratdm yaytih 
vdridher vdrinicayd bhdvdh kdlakramdd iva. 

* The forests on the banks of the sea shook to and fro as though 
amazed at the wondrous force of the gale, and inverted by the 
wind the waves went \ up and down as do men’s hopes through 
the force of fate.* The good deed of the Gandharva, who saves 
the prince from the well into which he had fallen, is summed up 
in an admirable line : 

pardrthaphalajanmdno na syur mdrgadrumd iva 
tapacchido mahdntaf cej jirndranyaiti jagad hhavet. 

* Were there not high-souled men born to do good to others, like 
wayside trees which dispel the heat, this world were nothing but 
a worn-out forest.* There is a very pathetic picture of the death 
of ^urasena; he was a Rajput and had to obey his king’s 
summons, despite his love for his wife Susena ; she awaits his 
promised return and, when he comes not, her breath leaves her 
body as if consumed by the forest fire of love. Her husband 
meantime, scarce able to leave his lord, is hastening to her on 
a swift camel : 


tatrapagyad gatapranam priyain tarn krtamandandm 
latam utphullakusumdm vdtenonmulitdm iva. 
drstvatva vihvalasyaitdm kurvato 'nge viniryayuh 
praldpath saha tasyapi prana virahittah ksandt. 

riiere saw he his wife lying dead in all her finery like a creeper 
in full bloom that the wind hath uprooted ; seeing her he grasped 
her in his arms, beside himself with grief of separation, and his 
breath straightway departed with his lamentations.’ There is 
a brilliant description of summer: 

bhramyatag ca jagdmdsya bhlmo grlsmartukesarl 
pracandddityavadano dtplatadraftnikesarah. 

nyastosmdna ivdtyusnd vdnti sma ca saklrattdh. 
fusyadvidtrnapaukd^ ca hrdayath sphutitair iva 
jaldfayd dadrfire gharmaluptdmbusampadah. 
clrlcltkdramukhards tapamlanadaladhardh 
madhufrtvirahdn mdrgesv arudann iva pddapdh. 

‘ And as he wandered there came on him the dread hot season in 
lion shape with the blazing sun for mouth and his fiery rays for 
mane. The winds blew with cruel heat as though warmed by 
the dolorous sighs of travellers parted from their loved ones. 
The tanks, their waters wasted by the heat, with their drying 
white mud seemed to show their broken hearts. The trees 
bewailed the departure of the glory of spring with the shrill 
moaning of their bark, their lips of leaves being parched by 
the heat.’ 


I. The Romantic Tale 

'p'HE fame of the Brkatkatkd has resulted in comparatively 

Th. preserved in works of early date. 

The Vetalapancamnfatika was doubtless originally part of a 
distinct cycle but it is preserved for us in its oldest^ form in 

Somadeva’s Kathasa- 
CwZZT^ i recensions, of which that of 

form rAv, u "’ay represent the original 

^thor J . ' ‘’1^‘^ed.^ One recension of an anonymous 

foto their waj^ 

Tatta « Lrntr Ja^bhala 

formofthe t I suggested that its 

form of the tales is in some respects older than that shown by the 

er recensions, but this is by no means clear. An abbrevfated 

version by Vallabhadasa ^ is also known, and the text has been 

modern Indian vernaculars and also exists 
in the Mongolian Ssiddi-Kur. 

Trivikramasena.or as the later accounts have it Vikramaditva 

Tr J’etnds 

ta^s f -A accidentally he finds that each con- 

foins a jewel. In gratitude he offers aid to the ascetic who asks 

thjf , u i t ^srees to act. but is startled to find 

that a ghoul, Vetala, has taken up its abode in the corpse vet 

persis s in is purpose. The corpse denizen, however, lightens 

‘ ix. 2 . I9ff. * 1 . 

» Ed. H. Uhle, AKM. viii. r, ,9,^. ^^^v-xcix. 

» '°^*'T>nMavahana, pp. „ ff. 

• Ed! ’ 48 r a n.).BSGW.66, .9.4. 

'■ ^ Kggeling, IOC. i. 15641 . 


the way by telling a story ending in a question as to the answer 
to a riddle, and on the king solving it the corpse falls off and 
retunis to its original place. The king, however, finally is defeated, 
and is silent. The demon then reveals to him that the evil ascetic 
is seeking in reality to slay him, and at his bidding the king asks 
the ascetic to show him how to perform the prostration required 
in the rite which is to be performed with the corpse, and hews 
off the evil-doer s head. 1 he stories have often much spirit and 
point; the king is silenced by the question of the relationship 
inter se of the children of a father who marries the daughter of 
a lady whom his son espouses. This weird tangle from 
rash vows and honour combined ; the king and his son had seen 
the footprints of two ladies and the son Induces his sire to marry 
the one with large, he the one with small feet, and it turned out 
that the mother was the petite beauty. Difficult again is the 
question how the hand of a girl should be disposed of, when she 
has been rescued from a demon by the united work of three 
lovers, one of whom finds by his skill the place where she is 
hidden, the other by magic provides an aerial car to seek for her, 
and the third by valour slays the demon ; the king gives the 
palm to valour. Which again is the nobler, the husband-to-be 
who permits his beloved one a last assignation, the robber who 
lets her pass him unscathed when he knows her mission, or the 
lover who leturns her unharmed when he learns of the husband’s 
noble deed ? A youth vows his head to Bhattarika if he win 
a fair maid as wife ; he pays his debt, his friend finds his corpse 
and imitates his deed, fearful of suspicion of murder; the wife 
finds the headless bodies, the goddess pities, and bids her restore 
the heads, but she errs. Which is her husband ? The body with 
the true head, replies the king, for the head is the noblest 
member. Or we have the strange of the son of a thief 
brought up by a Brahmin, adopted by a king, at whose offering 
to the spirits of the dead three hands appear to demand the 
sacrifice. Among these Marchen or novelettes there is one dis- 
tinctly Buddhist tale, though Durga is the chief figure in the 
book taken as a whole, which is distinctly a product of the spirit 
of the Tantras. A king desires a human sacrifice for his own 
benefit, parents and the Brahmin priest seek to carry it out, the 
demon is ready, but the little child to be offered laughs at their 

314« U 



shameless folly in ignoring the transient nature of all earthly 
things, and his life is spared. 

(Jivadasa’s recension cannot well date before the twelfth century 
and may be later. It contains not merely maxims in verse — often 
collected from well-known sources, including a verse of Rudra 
Bhatta — but also some narrative verse, and in so far approaches 
the style of the Campu. One fine stanza probably quoted ^ is 
worthy of citation : 

no manye drdhahandhandt ksatam idaih naivdhkufodghattanam 
skandhdrohanatadandt paribhavo naivanyadegdgamah 
cintdm me janayanti cetasi yathd smrtvd svayutham vane 
sihhatrdsitabhltabhltakalabhd ydsyanti kasydfrayam, 

^ Not the wounds, I ween, that my body suffers from my tight 
bonds, nor the blows of my masters hook, nor the shame of 
bearing him on my shoulders and enduring his strokes, nor the 
loss of my home, bring such sorrow to my heart as the thought, 
** To whom can the young calves, terrified to death by the lion^s 
onslaught, now have resort for aid ? ” * An ingenious alliteration 
is also pretty : 

sa dhurjatijaidjuto jdyatdm vijaydya vah 
yatraikapalitabkrdniim karoty adydpi Jdhnavi, 

‘ May ^iva’s matted locks further your success, locks among 
which the Ganges presence seems to place one white hair.’ 

Interesting is the Qikasaptati^ seventy tales of a parrot, of 
which we have two recensions, both of uncertain date, but which 
was certainly known in some form to the Jain Hemacandra ^ and 
doubtless existed long before it was finally reduced to the form 
in which we have it. The two recensions best known are the 
ornaiior and simplicior of Schmidt. The latter is not the earlier; 
it is clearly an abbreviated version of a text something like the 
Ornatior, as is shown by the fact that it not rarely leaves us in the 

* Ascribed to Pampaka by Qlrldhnradasa, iv, 214. 

* Simplicior, ed. AKM. x. i, 1897 ; trans. Kiel, 1894; shorter version, ZDMG. liv. 
515 ff, ; Iv. I ff. Ornatior ed. A. Bay. A. xxi. 2, 1901 ; trans. Stuttgart, 1899. 

tales ed. and trans. Kiel, 1890; notes on Simplicior, ZDMG. xlviii. 580 ff. all by 
R. Schmidt, who has edited a Marathi version, AKM. x. 4. In some MSS. all sorts 
of bad Sanskrit appear, 

Hertcl, Pa^atafitra^ pp. 240 ff. 



dark as to the precise point of the stories. The form of the 
original must probably have been simple prose, interspersed with 
gnomic verses and with some narrative verses at the beginning 
and end of each of the tales. The framework is amusing. Hara- 
datta, a merchant, has a foolish son Madanasena who spends 
his whole time in love-passages with his young wife. His father 
is induced to give him the present of a parrot and a crow, wise 
birds, embodiments of Gandharvas, whose wise talk converts the 
son to virtue*s ways, so that when going on a journey he entrusts 
his young wife to them. She regrets his loss but is ready to find 
another to console her, and the advice of the crow merely meets 
with a threat to wring his neck. The wiser parrot approves her 
deed, provided she is smart enough if she finds herself in a hole 
to get out of it as cleverly as Guna5alinl did. The curiosity of 
the lady is aroused, and by telling her tales and asking her how 
one should act at the critical moment the bird maintains her 
virtue until her husband returns. The tales are hardly edifying ; 
about half of them deal with breaches of the marriage bond, 
while the rest exhibit other instances of the cunning usually of 
hetairai or clever decisions of arbitrators, as when Muladeva 
appears as asked to decide which of two hideous wives of demons 
is the better-looking. Two famous incidents contained in the 
collection aie the judgement of Solomon and the parallel to the 
fabricated ordeal in Tristan and Isolde. As usual, religion plays 
its part in helping immorality ; religious processions, temples, 
pilgrimages, marriages, sacrifices, all are convenient occasions for 
assignations, the fleeing lover is declared by the ingenious wife to 
be the ghost of the paternal ancestor, and so forth. 

The Ornatior seems to be by a Brahmin Cintamani Bhattfi, 
who used the Jain Pahcatanira recension of Purnabhadra (1199), 
though it is quite probable that an older form of the Qukasaptati 
was the source whence some at least of the tales of unfaithful 
wives were taken by the Pahcatanira. The Simplicior seems to 
be the work of a ^vetambara Jain, and it has been suggested that 
it is ultimately derived from a metrical form, while the occur- 
rence of Prakrit verses has further given rise to the view that the 
collection may have been originally in Prakrit. The question 
does not admit of definite solution, nor is the work of great 
interest save in connexion with its western offshoots and its effect 


on vernacular literature. The eastern Rajasthani version * is made 
from a Sanskrit original by Devadatta, son of Purusottamadeva, 
of unknown date ; in it the judgement of Solomon is pronounced 
by a damsel. 

Still less attractive is the Sihhdsanadvdtrihfika^ thirty-two 
talcs told by the statues of maidens on a throne which is ‘allied 
to have been discovered by Bhoja of Dhara in the eleventh cen- 
tury, when that king desired to seat himself on it. The throne, 
it turns out, had been won by Vikramaditya as a gift from Indra, 
and after his death in battle against Qalivahana had been buried 
in the earth, and the thirty-two spirits bound there in statue form 
tell talcs of the great monarch and receive release. The tales are 
far from exciting, and in the Jain recension of Ksemamkara are 
ruined by being framed so as to make out the king to be a model 
of generosity who spent his substance in gifts to the priests of 
what he won by his great deeds of valour. The form of the work 
in this recension is marked by the presence of narrative verses at 
the beginning and end of each prose tale. More like the original 
form is perhaps the south-lndian version with gnomic verses and 
occasional narrative verses mingled in its prose. Another ver- 
sion consists of verse, while in a north-Indian recension the 
stories are lost in the morals. The Bengal version ascribed to 
Vararuci is merely based on the Jain recension, itself alleged to 
have used one in Maharastrl. The work is clearly later than the 
Vetdlapancaviitfatikd, but that gives no definite date, and it is 
not at all likely that it really was written for or under Bhoja of 
Dhara. It contains the well-known tale of the king who gives to 
his dearly beloved wife the fruit which drives away age, only to 
find that it has passed from her to the master of horse and from 
him to a hetaira ; in disgust the king abandons his throne. Vikra- 
maditya s adventures are also the subject of an alleged epic in 
thirty chapters, the Vivciccintt'ci^ of Ananta, whose real hero is 
rather Qudraka, once co-regent of (Jalivahana, but later a sup- 
porter of the descendants of Vikramaditya ; of the gdlivdhana- 
kathd ^ in eighteen cantos, partly in prose, by Qivadasa ; of the 

' Suvabahuttattkathd\\[txit\y Festschrift IVindisch^ pp. 138 ff. 

* Weber, IS. xv. 185 ff. ; F. Edgerton, AJP. xxxiii. 249 ff, and eel. HOS. 1026. 

* H. Jacobi, IS. xiv. 97 ff. 

^ Eggcling, IOC. i. 1567 ft. 



Mddkavdftalakathd'^ in simple prose with Sanskrit and Prakrit 
stanzas by Ananda, pupil of Bhatta Vidyadhara ; the anony- 
mous Vikramodaya'^ in verse; the Jain compilation of the fifth- 
teenth-century Pahcadandacchatraprabandha? &c. In this work 
he appears as a magician and master of black magic, while in the 
Vikramodaya he is a learned parrot who issues another version of 
Solomon’s judgement.^ 

The close contact of the literature of tales with the people is 
shown by the fact that later we find apparent Sanskrit versions of 
vernacular works as in the Bharatakadvdtrih^ikd^ tales intended 
to deride Brahmins, and obviously of Jain inspiration, ^ivadasa’s 
KathdrnavaP thirty-five tales including stories of fools and 
thieves, is also late, and in Vidyapati’s Ptirusaparlksd^ a 
collection of forty- four stories, we have the work of an author 
who won in the latter part of the fourteenth century fame as a 
Maithill poet. To the same century belong also the unhistorical 
but interesting legends of authors and other important persons 
contained in the Prabandhacintdmani^ and the Prabandhakofa 
of the Jain writers Mcrutunga and Raja9ekhara, while that 
collection of witty but quite untrustworthy legends of the court 
of Bhoja, the Bhojaprabandha of Ballalasena, is of the sixteenth 

2. The Didactic Tale 

The tale which is aimed directly at edification rather than 
amusement is specially richly presented in Jain literature; the 
Jains were very fond of stories, but they demanded a moral, and 
hence their writers were often led to spoil good stories such as 
the legends of Vikramaditya by seeking to make the participants 

' Ed. Pavolini, OC. ix, i. 430 ff.; GSAI. xxii. 313 ; H. Schohl, Die Strophen 

der M. ( 1914 ). 

* Zachariae, Kl, Schriftnty pp. 152 ff., 166 ff.; IOC. i. no. 3960. Ch. 7 has a 
parallel in Mahavastu^ in. 33 ff. (imaginary debts and like repayment), 

’ Ed. and trans. ABA. 1877. 

* Zachariae, p. 154, n. i refers to the literature. 

® kd. J. Hertel, Leipzig, 1921 ; trans. Ind, Etzahler^ 1922; c. A. D. 1400. 

® Weber, Itui, Streifen^ i. 251 f. ; Pavolini, GSAI. ix. 189!. 

’ Ed. Bombay, 1882. 

® Trans. C. H. Tawney, BI. 1901 (date 1306). 

* Hultzsch, Reports ^ iii. p. vi (1349). 

Ed. NSP. 1913 ; L. Oster, Die Rezensionen des Bh. (1911). 

294 the romantic AND THE DIDACTIC TALE 

in high adventure rather tedious exponents of Jainism. First 
place among these works must be assigned to the Parifi^taparvan^ 
a supplement to his epic Trisastifalakdpurusacarita by Hema- 
candra. In it he deals with the oldest teachers of the Jain faith, 
and the tales he relates are no longer mythic and epic, but dis- 
tinctly of the ordinary variety of folk-tale. We hear, for instance, 
of the incest of brother and sister, children of a hetaira ; it is 
characteristic that the situation is less appreciated on its tragic side 
than from the point of view of the relationships resulting, a point 
raised in more innocent circumstances in the last of the tales of 
the Vampire. The historical figure of Candragupta is made the 
subject of strange legends, one of the most curious making out 
that he died a pious Jain.** We are told^ of the monk who showed 
the constancy required for living with a hetaira during the whole 
without breaking his vow of chastity ; another, who 
had shown courage enough to spend the same period in the com- 
pany of a hon, essays the task but fails ; piety however requires 
that the hetaira should convert him once more to the ways of 
virtue and herself become a nun.^ 

The Jain Caritras and Puranas which contain many legends do 
not normally attain the level of literature, but more importance 
attaches to the elaborate allegory of human life in the form of a 
tale written in 906 by the renowned author Siddha or Siddharsi. 
A late and doubtless unreliable authority® tells that he was in- 
duced to adopt Jainism because his young wife and his mother, 
annoyed at his late hours, one night insisted on shutting the door 
on him, so that he went to the always open door of some Jains 
and refused to give up his intention of becoming a Jain monk. 
The same authority puts him down as a cousin of the famous 
poet Magha. In point of fact the Upatnitibhavaprapancdkathd “ 
which is in prose with considerable numbers of stanzas interposed 

• Smith (EHI. pp. 154, 458) strangely believes this legend. 

* viii. 1 10 ff. 

?5y'>9rSga; ii. 446 ff., the ordeal of an 
adulteress, is trans. J, J. Meyer. JsoUes GoUesurteil (1914), pp. laoff 

The Praihavaiacaritra of Prabhacandra and Pradyumna Suri (i S50 A. D.), a con- 
tinuation of Hemacandra’s -r-Aucon 

* Ed. BI. 1899 ff. Trans. A. Ballini, GSAI. xvii-xix, xxi-xxiv. 



from time to time, is by no means badly written, and the author 
has kindly supplied a key at the end of the introduction to the 
all^ory, so that it is not difficult to follow. His Sanskrit, which 
he deliberately chose because it was a sign of culture, is not diffi- 
cult — indeed, he promises that it will be as easy to follow as Pra- 
krit, but the impression of the work as a whole is, as in the case 
of most allegories, one of unrelieved dreariness, no doubt partly 
due to the extreme difficulty in making anything picturesque out 
of the dry and scholastic Jain tenets and the somewhat narrow 
views of life prevalent in Jain circles. 

Of simpler type are the many Kathas or Kathanakas in which 
well-known motifs are adapted to illustrate Jain tenets. These 
are numerous in the Prakrit literature, being preserved both in 
commentaries on the canon and separately, and in Sanskrit form 
they tend to be late. Two interesting tales are the Campaka- 
fre^thikathdnaka ' and the Pdlagopdlakathdnaka * of J inakirti, who 
wrote in the first half of the fifteenth century. The former takes 
the form of a frame story enclosing three tales, one of Ravana’s 
vain effort to avoid fate, while in the latter we have with other 
matter a version of the tale of a woman who accused of attempts 
on her honour the youth who has refused to yield to her seduc- 
tions. The Samyaktvakaumudl^ illustrates the plan of inserting 
tales within a narrative ; the pious Arhaddasa relates to his eight 
wives and they to him how they obtained true religion (sam^ 
yaktva), their tales being overheard both by a king who wanders 
about his capital and a thief. On the other hand the Katha- 
kofaP also of unknown date, is a series of tales without con- 
nexion, in bad Sanskrit with verses in Prakrit, which gives a very 
poor Jain version of the NalaP 

‘ A. Weber, SBA. 1883, pp. 567 ff., 885 ff. ; J. Hertel, ZDMG. Ixv. 1-51, 425-70. 

* J. Hertel, BSGW. Ixix. 4; Indischt Ernahler, vii (1922) ; Bloomfield, TAPA. 
liv. 164 ff. 

» A. Weber, SBA. 1889, pp. 731 ff. 

< Trans. C. H. Tawney, London, 1895. 

® Hemavijaya’s Kathdraindkara is trans. Hertel. Raja9ekhara (i4lh cent.) in his 
Antarakathdsamgraha (cf. Pull^, SIFI. i. i ff. ; ii. i ff.) has a version of the judgement 
of Solomon (Tcssitori, lA. xlii. 148 ff . ; Hertel, Geist des Ostensy i. 189 ff.). 


I . The Age and Works of Dandin 

O F Dandin we know really nothing save what can be 
gathered from his works and late tradition. The latter 
asserts his authorship of three books, and it is generally con- 
ceded that of these we have two, the Da(akumdracariia and 
the Kdvyddarfa. The third has been variously identified ; the 
view of Pischel that it was the Mrcchakatikd was based in effect 
merely on the general resemblance of social relations described 
in the drama and in the Dafakumdracarita and the anonymous 
citation of a line found in the drama by the Kdvyddavfa- Now 
that we know th'^t the line is found also in Bhasa, the argument 
is less strong than ever. But it is very dubious if the Chando- 
viciti referred to in the Kdvyddar^a is intended by Dandin to be 
his own work, and even if it were it is possible that it and the 
Kdlapariccheda also alluded to were mere chapters to be 
appended to the Kdvyddavfa, Even the identity of authorship 
of the Kdvyddavfa and the Dafakumdracarita has been doubted 
on various grounds. It has been pointed out ^ that the vulgarity 
and occasional obscenity of language in the romance accord ill 
with the insistence in the Kdvyddavfa on freedom from coarse- 
ness, and certain real or alleged inelegancies of diction have 
been asserted to be impossible in an author who wrote on poetics. 
But neither contention is of serious value. Apart from the notori- 
ous difiference between precept and practice, it is perfectly 
possible and even probable that the romance came from the 
youth of Dandin and the Kdvyddavfa from his more mature 
judgement, while most of the alleged errors in grammar may 
safely be denied or at least are of the type which other poets 
permit themselves.'-^ 

The date of Dandin is still open to dispute, and if the Kdvyd- 
davfa were not to be taken into account would be even more 
difficult to determine than it actually is. If, for reasons which 
will be given later, we place the Kdvyddavfa definitely before 
* Agashc, cd. pp. xxv ff. 

* The ascription to him of the AvantUundarJkathdy of which we have a fragment, 
is quite implausible ; S, K. D^, IHQ. i. 31 ff.; iii. 394 ff. 


Bhamaha (c. A. D. 70^)1 there is no reason to assert that he wrote 
much earlier, and the chief impression conveyed by the Da^aku- 
mdracarita is that its geography ' contemplates a state of things 
anterior to the empire of Harsavardhana, and that its compara- 
tive simplicity suggests a date anterior to the work of Subandhu 
and Bana. Nor is there anything to suggest a later date. The 
corruption of manners adduced by Wilson in favour of the legend 
which makes him an ornament of the court of Bhoja of Dhara, 
so far as it was real, merely represents a regular feature of one 
aspect of Indian life. 

2 . The Dafakiimdracarita 

It is very probable that it was from Gunadhya that Dandin 
derived the conception of the plot of the romance.^ The device 
by which Naravahanadatta and his companions, reunited after 
strange adventures, repeat the account of what has befallen each 
of them is strongly suggestive of the device by which the ten 
princes of Dandin’s tale expound their fortunes when reunited 
after their original separation. The idea is ingenious, for it provides 
a certain measure of unity in what else would be merely a series of 
unconnected stories. If Hertel is right, however, Dandin's plan 
would have extended far beyond what he has accomplished ; he 
finds allusions to a scheme which would have told of the history 
of king Kamapala and his five wives in three different births on 
earth, so that what we have is a mere fragment. It may be true 
that Dandin contemplated some such work, but there is really 
no proof of it, and still less that he ever actually wrote it. 
Indeed, Hertel himself holds that he left even the Da^akumdra- 
carita itself as we have it, with an abrupt beginning and incom- 
plete, his purpose of carrying out his undertaking having been 
frustrated for some cause or other. This is of course conjectural, 
nor can any conclusion be drawn from the fact that so many 
efforts ^ were later made to supply a beginning and to end the 

^ Collins, The Geographical Data of the Raghuvamia and Daiakum&racarita{\<j/Q*i), 
p. 46. 

* Ed. G. Biihler and P. Peterson, BSS. 1887-91 (2nd ed. by Agashe) ; A. B. 
Gajendragadkar, Dharwar. Trans. J. J. Meyer, Leipzig, 1902 ; J. Hertel, Leipzig, 
1922 ; Weber, Ind. Streifeny i. 308 ff. 

* For one by Bhatfa Narayana see Appendix in Agashe's ed. ; there is one in verse 
by Vinayaka ; a continuation by Cakrapani and a revision by Gopinatha (IOC. i. 
«55^ t*) exist 



text to prove that, if these parts of Dandin's work had ever 
existed, they would not have been lost. The fates of books are 
far too uncertain to admit of such reasoning being decisive. 

What is certain is that we have in our manuscript quite fre- 
quently beside the text of the work proper an introduction, 
Purvapithika, and in one manuscript and its derivatives a conclu- 
sion, Uttarapithika. That these are no part of Bandings work 
seems suggested at once by the names, and this conclusion is 
confirmed by overwhelming evidence. The Purvapithika ought 
to lead up merely to the first tale in the text of the romance, 
but in point of fact it gives tales of two princes in order to make 
up the number of ten, Dandin’s own work extending only to 
eight, the last imperfect. Moreover, the contents of the intro- 
duction by no means correspond precisely with the facts made 
clear in the romance itself. Thus, while in the ancestry of the 
princes Rajavahana, Puspodbhava, Apaharavarman, and Upa- 
haravarman there is no discrepancy of moment, the accounts of 
Arthapala, Pramati, and Vi^ruta cannot be reconciled. In Dandin 
Arthapala and Pramati are Kamapala^s sons by Kantimati and 
Taravall, in the introduction Arthapala is Taravali^s son and 
Pramati is not his half-brother but merely a son of the minister 
Sumati, a misunderstanding of a passage in Dandin. Vifruta, 
again, to Dandin is descended from the merchant Vaifravana and 
grandson of Sindhudatta, in the introduction it is the minister 
Padmodbhava who is his grandfather. It is probable that the 
ancestries of the princes Somadatta, Mitragupta, and Mantra- 
gupta given in the introduction are mere figments, that of 
Mantragupta being given as Sumantra from a mere misreading 
in Dandin, while in reality the princes in Dandin’s own view were 
sons of the three remaining wives of Kamapala himself, and 
therefore half-brothers of the hero Rajavahana. Moreover, when 
in Dandin Candavarman finds Rajavahana with the princess, he 
denounces him as an impostor who has under the cloak of religion 
corrupted the people and made them believe'" in false gods, but 
the introduction has nothing of this, and in lieu of making the 
prince a clever trickster has to provide him with an accomplice 
in the shape of a magician in order to accomplish his ends. So, 
again, in Dandin we hear of a younger brother as guilty of aiding 
the prince to obtain access to the princess’s harem, while the intro- 


duction has provided him with the magician for this very end. 
Upaharavarman's own tale is that he was brought up by a monk, 
the introduction gives the duty to the king. It is clear, too, that 
the scene at the end of the introduction does not accord with the 
beginning of the text. Dandin conceives Rajavahana and his 
princess as already having enjoyed the sweets of love, and depicts 
the prince seeking to win a revival of her passion by tales of the 
ancient loves of gods and saints,^ to which she responds. The 
introduction with incredible bad taste treats the occasion as 
the first scene between the two, and represents the prince as 
seeking to make his love repeat what he has been telling her, for 
the pleasure of listening to her doing so. Moreover, the matter 
imparted to the loving maiden was not in his view erotic, but an 
account of the fourteen worlds as a lesson on Brahmanical cosmo- 
graphy. We may safely say that the author of this stupidity 
was not Dandin, whose own purpose doubtless was, as in chapter 
VI, to insert just before our present text some anecdotes of ancient 
love stories. The case against the Uttarapithika is even more 
convincing, for it is obvious from the end of the text that Dandin 
was about to paint the model of a wise ruler, a task which the 
present conclusion does not even attempt. The fact that other 
efforts to supply an introduction are known is additional proof that 
the existing POrvapithika was not accorded general acceptance as 
Dandin’s work. It is possible that two hands are to be dis- 
tinguished even in the Purvapithika itself. 

3 . The Content and Style of the Daqahimdracarita 

It has been suggested ^ that the romance is really to be 
regarded as a didactic work, an attempt to teach the doctrines of 
the Nlti^asira in narratives of attractive character. This we may 
fairly pr9nounce to be an exaggeration and an injustice to the 
author, whose real aim we may be sure was to give pleasure, how- 
ever ready he might be to show himself an expert in the rules of 
polity as well as those of the Kama9astra. His distinctive quality 
is the application to the simple tale of the grand manner of 
the Kavya, though in a moderation which is utterly lost in the 
case of Subandhu and Bana. Doubtless he had predecessors in 

^ Cf. the Kdmasuira* s insistence on the love of women for tellers of tales (p. a6o). 

* Hertel, trans. iii. 8 ff. 



the attempt, though they are lost to us and we cannot even say 
whether the Bhattara Haricandra to whom Bana refers in the 
introduction to his Harsacarita as a fine author of prose was a 
predecessor of Dandin. It may be conjectured that the applica- 
tion of the Kavya style to prose had its origin in panegyrics 
such as are seen in the inscriptions of Rudradaman and Harisena 
which we have already considered, and that it was only later that 
it was thought suitable to apply similar methods to tales. The 
application, of course, made the tale vitally different from its 
effect in its more simple form. The work of Gunadhya, even 
through its changed forms, as it has come down to us gives the 
definite impression of swift and easy narrative, the poets not 
pausing to exercise their descriptive talents ; Dandinrleads the way 
to the result that the narrative is a mere skeleton, the descriptions 
the essence. 

In Dandin, however, we are far from the period when an exer- 
cise in style is aimed at. The main interest of the romance lies 
in the substance,^ with its vivid and picturesque account of low 
life and adventure, of magicians and fraudulent holy men, of 
princesses and ruined kings, of hetairai, of expert thieves, of 
fervent lovers, who in a dream or by a prophecy are urged on to 
seek the beloved. The world of the gods is regarded with singu- 
larly little respect, and the ministers to holiness are equally far 
from finding favour. Not that there is a total disregard of moral 
considerations ; one prince consoles himself for his action in 
seeking to secure the wife of another, and slaying to fulfil the 
end, by moral principles. It is legitimate according to the text- 
books to abandon one of the three ends of man, duty, profit, and 
love, if it tends to the attainment of the other two, and if he has 
violated duty he has enabled his parents to escape from captivity, 
has secured himself the delights of love and the possession of 
a realm. Apaharavarman again is a prince of thieves ; he plans 
on the model laid down by Karnisuta, author of an unhappily 
lost text-book on the art, to rob a city in order, ii is true, to 
reimburse an unfortunate who has been robbed by a hetaira ; 

^ How far original is unknown. In vi the insertion of stories has a parallel in the 
Kathdsartisdgara where the Vetala stories come in the report of the sixth minister, and 
there is a parallel for Nitambavati. The figures of the ungrateful and the ideal wives 
here have parallels in Jatakas 193 and 546 ; Winternitz, GIL. iii. 357. 


moreover, he understands that there are too many misers in 
residence. Mantragupta in disguise worms himself into the con- 
fidence of a foolish king, persuades him to bathe in the sea in 
order to acquire greater beauty, murders him, and parades him- 
self before the people as the new form of the king, extolling the 
wonderful deed that has been accomplished, which has put to 
shame all mockers as to the powers of the gods to work miracles. 
Vi9ruta in order to secure his protege’s restoration to power 
makes use both of the temple and the name of Durga to per- 
petrate a successful fraud. The gods appear as justifying the 
most disgraceful deeds ; the moon god is cited as justifying 
adultery, the hetaira in her successful effort to pervert the pious 
ascetic can find authority in the scandals regarding heaven. The 
ascetic is far from being adamant, and it is not Brahmins alone 
who are subject to satire ; the merchant whom she plunders down 
to his loin-cloth abandons that also and becomes a Digambara 
Jain monk, but confesses that the sublime teachings of the Jina 
are but a swindle. The Brahmins again with their reports of evil, 
requiring a special sacrifice with vessels of pure gold, are derided, 
while nuns are all go-betweens and one Buddhist lady is the head 
procuress in the service of a hetaira. The might of fate does not 
rule the affairs of these active princes ; true, Apaharavarman 
when caught stealing, Purnabhadra captured by robbers, ascribe to 
this cause their mishaps, but they both are ready and able by human 
exertion to defeat effectively the decrees of that unstable deity. 

The realism of Dandin's outlook is entirely in accord with one 
strain of Indian tradition, that which from the Rgveda onwards 
notes and describes the sins of the gods, without any moral 
protest. It stands out the more prominently when it is 
compared with the pious attitude of the author of the Purva- 
pithika. To him the sacrifice is the power that brings the gods ; 
Rajahansa is praised because of his devotion to the priests, the 
gods on earth, while Dandin denies them that appellation save in 
one passage where his use for them of dharanitala-taitila is 
sneering, the term meaning also ‘rhinoceroses'. The king's 
domestic priest possesses the full holiness of Brahman himself, 
and despite his appalling deeds the Brahmin Matafiga, because he 
died in saving another Brahmin, after an interesting tour of 
inspection of Yama’s hells is restored to life, and by his devotion 



to ?iva is rewarded with the aid of Rajavahana to enable him to 
win an Asura princess and lordship of the nether regions. Not 
valour but Qiva’s club gives the king of Malava victory over 
Rajahansa. Dandin makes a joke out of Markandeya’s curse 
which condemns Suratamafijari, whose pearl necklace fell on the 
ascetic when bathing, to become a silver chain. The Purvapithika 
parts (pamba from his wife for two months because of the curse 
of a water-fowl. The princes no longer are free agents ; the great 
Vamadeva and his acolytes protect and guard the father and the 
princess ; Rajavahana can win his princess only by a Brahmin's aid. 

Characteristic of Dandin is his power of characterization which 
is not content with making alive the more important figures on 
his stage, but invests with life and reality the minor personages. 
The ascetic Marici, the merchant Vasupalita, and their seducer 
Kamamanjari, the old Brahmin who meets Pramati at the cock- 
fight and seconds him con amove in the trick to win his bride, 
improving on his instructions, the police commandant Kantaka, 
who is deluded into believing that the king’s daughter is in love 
with him and treasures the nurse’s soiled garment as a pledge of 
affection, and the nurse herself, ^rgalika, who seconds Apahara- 
varman’s efforts to win the princess, are all depicted with liveli- 
ness, force, and insight. Nor is Dandin limited in range ; in 
chapter viii we have a deeper note in the characterization of the 
young king Anantavarman, his loyal minister Vasuraksita, whom 
he casts aside because his advice is too wise for his taste, and the 
shallow but witty courtier Viharabhadra whose advice leads to 
the utter ruin of realm and king. 

The humour and wit of the author are remarkable and far 
more attractive to modern taste than are usually these qualities in 
Indian works. The whole work is pervaded by the humour of 
the wild deeds of the princes, their determination to secure what 
they wish, and their light-hearted indifference to the morality of 
the means which they employ. The deception of Marici ^ by the 
hetaira is perfectly drawn ; the damsel pretends to be enamoured 
of the holy life, the ascetic warns her of the trials and advises her 
mother, who is shocked at her daughter’s indifference to duty, to 
let her stay a short time to experience what her purpose means ; 

' Liiders’ comparison of the Rsya9inga legend (GN. 1897, p. 109) is needless. For 
Christian parallels see Giinter, Buddha^ pp. 333 ff. 


alas, it is the ascetic who learns many things not suitable for 
ascetics. 1 he silver chain which binds the captive turns itself 
into a beautiful maiden in an unexpected but delightful way. 
Queen Vasundhara finds a brilliant way of spreading a false 
rumour ; she invites the oldest of the citizens and the highest of 
the ministers to a secret conclave at which under the most solemn 
pledge of secrecy she reveals the canard. There is admirable wit 
in Apaharavarman s pious resolve to bring into a better frame of 
mind the misers of Campa by revealing to their eyes the perish- 
able nature of all that is earthly, in vulgar parlance by stealing 
their money. Mitragupta offers Candrasena a magic ointment to 
make her appear like a female ape to the prince, but she replies 
that she does not wish in this life to be parted from her mortal 
body. Arthapala finds in the earth a lovely damsel whom he 
likens to the goddess of royal sovereignty who has taken refuge in 
the earth to avoid the sight of so many bad kings. Upahara- 
varman makes a very bitter jest at the expense of king Vikata- 
varman who is under the impression that he is his beloved queen ; 
to confirm him in this view he asks him to swear to confine his love 
in future with his new form to the queen alone : the fool is pre- 
pared to take the oath but Upaharavarman continues: kiih vd 
fapathena ? kaiva hi mdmparibhavisyati f yady apsarobhih 

saihgacchase samgacchasva kdmam. kathaya kdni te rahasydni. 
tatkathandnte tvatsvarupabhrahgah, ‘ Nay, what need of an oath ? 
What woman can vie with me? But if thou wouldst mate with 
the Apsarases, thou may^t do so at pleasure. Tell me thy 
secrets ; when thou hast told, thy change of shape will come to 
pass.* The foolish king little knows the meaning of the words 
which portend his wedlock with a denizen of the next world, and 
a change not to a fairer form but the passing of this mortal 

In the arrangement of his work Dandin shows distinct judge- 
ment. He varies his tone; from the light-hearted or grim 
humour of chapters ii and v we pass to the earnest tragedy of 
chapter viii. He alters his form ; while most of the books are 
without break of subject, in chapter vi we have four clever tales, 
those of DhuminI, Gomini, Nimbavati, and Nitambavati, told in 
succession to illustrate the maxim that cunning alone is able to 
accomplish the most difficult ends. If the work had been com- 



pleted, as we have seen, before the present opening, we should 
doubtless have had some pictures of ancient love scenes. 

Dandin is unquestionably masterly in his use of language. He 
is perfectly capable of simple easy narrative, and in the speeches 
which he gives to his characters he avoids carefully the error of 
elaboration of language. But he is prepared to exhibit his talent 
and command of the language in descriptions and in these he is 
markedly an adherent of the Vaidarbha style, and excels, as 
a traditional estimate holds, in pleasing sound effects. He aims 
both at exactness of expression and clearness of sense, at the 
avoidence of harsh sounds and exaggeration •or bombast ; he 
attains beauty, harmony of sound, and effective expression of 
sentiment. He makes free use, but with reasonable moderation, 
of the right in prose to construct long compounds, but they in the 
main are not difficult of comprehension. His desire to vary his 
forms of description is marked and receives effective illustration. 
Twice he has to describe the beauty of a slumbering maiden ; in 
the first case ' he resorts to a complete catalogue of all her per- 
fections as the hero gazes on her and notes them in minutest 
detail through her thin garments ; in the second case there is no 
realistic description, but four similes from mythology and nature 
serve to express her loveliness.^ Yet again a picture is given of 
beauty unveiled, but the occasion is different ; the hero sets up as 
an astrologer, and in this capacity has the privilege of inspecting 
youthful beauty presented to him to ascertain if it possesses the 
auspicious signs of suitability for marriage.^ Reference has 
already been made to the witty close of the description of the 
beautiful maiden of the underground dwelling, where the jest is 
given special point by following on several more stereotyped 
complimentary epithets.* Another description is decidedly 
ingenious and is addressed to the lovely one herself: bhdmini 
nami bahv aparaddham bhavatyd cittajanmano yad amtisya jlvi- 
tabhutdm Ratim dkrtyd kadarihitavati dhaimryastim bhrfdatd- 
bhydm bhramaramdldmayt/Ji jydin iiildlakadyntibhir astrdny apdh~ 
gavlksitavrstibhir mahdrajanadhvajapatdh^nkam daganacchada- 
vtayukhajdlaih prathamastihrdam malayamdriitam parimalapati- 
yasd nihgvdsapavanena parabhrtarutam atimanjulaih praldpaih 
puspamayim paidkdin bhnjayastibhydm digvijaydrambhapurna- 

' ii. p. 63. * V. p. 13. 

vi. p. 31. ^ iv. p. 10, 


kumbhamithunam urojayugaUna krtddsaro nabhimandalena 
samnahyarathamandalam fronimanialena bhavanaratnatorana- 
^stambkayugahm uruyugalena lllakarnakisalayam caranatalapra- 
bhabhth ‘ Hast thou, gracious lady, not wrought much wrone 
on our lord Love ? Hast thou not utterly eclipsed with thy 
form Rat., who IS all his life to him ; with thy creeper-like brows 
the staff of his bow ; his bowstring formed of a row of bees with 
the flashings of thy dark locks; his arrows with the showers of 
thy sidelong glances; the silk of his saffron-dyed banner with 
the ruddy rays darting from thy lips; his dearest friend, the 
wind from Malaya, with the sweet fragrance of thy breath ; the 
Kokila with thy charming utterance ; his flower ensign with 
^the flagstaff's of thy arms ; the two bowls which were filled when 
he started to conquer the world with thy two rounded breasts, 
the lake in which he plays with the circle of thy navel • the 
rounded frame of his battle-chariot with thy round hips’; the 
twin pillars of the jewelled arch of his palace with thy twin 
thighs; the lotus behind his ear with which he plays with the 
gleaming red of the soles of thy feet?’ The same variety is 
seen in his many changes of expression in describing the dawn 
and the sunset, which he delights to do. So Upaharavarman 
sees the dawn thus : cintayaty eva mayi maharnavonniagnamar- 
tandaturahgamagvasaraydvadlmteva vyavartata iriydmd samu- 
dragarbhavdsajadikrta iva mandapratdpo divasakarah prddur 
astt. ‘While yet I pondered, night passed away, as though 
wafted away by the hot breath of the steeds of the sun as he 
emerged from the mighty ocean, and the sun stood revealed, but 
yet feeble his might as though he had been paralysed by his 
dwelling within the bosom of the sea.’ There is a very effective 
example of the simplicity and vividness of his style in his account 
in the legend of DhuminI of the appalling famine which led to 
the tragic events of that tale : kstnasdram sasyam o^adhayo 
bandhya na phalavanto vanaspatayah kllbd megkd bhinnasrotasak 
sravantyah pahkafesdni palvaldni niksyanddny ntsamandaldni 
virallbhutani kandamulaphalam avahlndh kathd galitdh kalydnot- 
savakriyd bahulibhutdni taskarakuldny anyonyam abhaksayan pra- 
jdh paryalunthann itas tato baldkdpdndurdni narafirahkapdldni 
paryahindanta fuskdk kdkamandalyah ffmyibhutdni nagaragrd- 
‘fnakharvataputabluddnddlni. ‘ The corn lost all its strength the 

3I4« X ’ 

3o6 the great romances 

herbs became barren, the trees bore no fruit, the clouds rained not, 
the beds of the streams became dry, the tanks were reduced to mud, 
the springs ceased to flow, bulbs, roots, and fruits were hard to 
find, all ceased to converse or celebrate auspicious events, hordes 
of robbers became more common, people ate one another in their 
hunger, men*s skulls, bleached white as cranes, rolled about, great 
flocks of starving crows flew around, while cities great and small, 
market-places, villages, and other resorts of men were aban- 
doned,’ It is significant that the author of the Purvapithika is 
quite unable to vie in description with his model, though he 
exaggerates the length of his compounds and in the introduction 
commits himself to a stanza playing on Dandin’s name. He 
commits also the grave fault of excessive use of alliterations, 
perpetrating the continuous riming effect of : kumdrd mdrdbhi- 
rdmd rarnddyapatmisd rusd bhasmikrtdrayo rayopahasitasaml- 
rand randbhiydnena ydnendb/iyudayofansam rdjdnam akdrsuk, 

* The princes, beautiful as Mara himself, with the heroism of 
Rama and other heroes, reducing their enemies to ashes in their 
rage, in their swiftness defeating even the wind, advancing in 
their chariots to battle assured the king of victory.’ It may be 
doubted whether it is not to his carelessness rather than to clerical 
errors or to learned pedantry that we should ascribe the incorrect 
forms mahaddyudha^ mahadabhikhyd^ mahaddgd^ dvoci^ fasan^ 
adangi^ presented by manuscript tradition.^ These are very 
different from the forms which have been censured in Dandin, 
such as dlihgayitiwi, brdhmanabruvah, enam anuraktd, which are 
clearly defensible as they stand. 

It must not, however, be denied that we see traces here and 
there of the desire even in Dandin to strain language. The tour 
de force by which chapter vii is spoken by Mantragupta without 
any labial letters ^ because his loved one had bitten him so 
deeply on the lower lip that he could not form labials is note- 
worthy but hardly admirable, and in chapter ii we find a piece ^ 
of complex argument elliptically expressed which might do credit 

* For differences in language between the PQrvapithika and the text of Dandin, see 
Gawronski, Sproikl. Untersuckungen iiber das Mrcchakatika und das Daiakumdra^ 
capita (1907), pp. 47 ff. 

• In Kdvyddar^a^ iii. 83, the difficulty of the feat is recognized. Cf. Jacobi, ZDMG, 

xU 99. Pindar is credited with writing a poem without s ; cf. Ohlert, R ’dtstl und 
Rdtsehpriichit pp. 3 ff. * p. 50, 11 . 7 ff. (ed. Biihlcr). 


for difficulty of comprehension to Subandhu or Bana. But in 
him these deviations are exceptions, and though Indi^ taste 
would never have ranked his style with that of the oth^ great 
romancers it is greatly to be preferred on modern standards. In 
one point, however, Dandin surpasses Subandhu. He obeys the 
rule that the perfect shall only be used in describing what is not 
part of ones personal experience.' Hence in the narratives of 
the princes the perfect is excluded, although it is permitted in 
the four short tales inserted in chapter vi ; in the princes’ narra- 
tive he uses only imperfects, aorists, the historical present and 
participles, active and passive. His frequent use of aorists is 
doubtless a sign of his familiarity with grammar and his anxiety 
to exhibit the fact. 

4. Subandhu 

Of Subandhu we know as little as of Dandin. He appears 
first m Bana who mentions in the introduction to the Harsacarita 
the Vasavadattd as quelling the pride of poets, and in the 
Kddambarl in celebrating his own work he uses the epithet 
aitdvayl, ' surpassing two,’ which is believed to refer to the Vasa- 
vadatta * and the Brhatkatka of Gunadhya. That Subandhu’s 
work IS meant is not now very .seriously questioned, Peterson 
himself having long since withdrawn his suggestion to that effect. 
Subandhu’s name appears with those of Bhasa, Kalidasa, and 
Haricandra in Vakpatiraja’s Gaiidavaha ; he is classed with 
Mentha, Bharavi, and Bana by Mankha in his ^rlkanpiacarita ; 
and Kaviraja in the Raghavapandavlya boasts that Subandhu 
he, and Bana are masters of ambiguous diction ; while a Kanarese 
inscription of a.d. ii6 « asciibes to him mastery in Kavya. 
Quite late tradition makes him a contemporary of the legendary 
Vikramaditya and a nephew of Vararuci. But the only refer- 
ence to that monarch shows him to have been in the remote 
past, and the date of Subandhu must depend on his priority to 
Bana, which is borne out by a mass of obvious coincidences in 
diction, and on the other hand by his own literary allusions./ Of 
the many works known to the poet most are decidedly <Mder, 
such as the cpic.s, the Kdmasutra, the Chandoviciti section of the 

* .Speyer, Sansk. Synt., p. 348. 

’ Ed. F. Hall, BI. 1859; South Indian text, ed. L. H. Gray, CUIS. 
translation. Cf. Peterson, Subhasitdvali^ p. 133. 

8, 1913, with 



Ndtyafdsira^ and the Brhatkathd\ but he knew well not only 
the Upanisads but also the Nyaya and Mlmansa schools of, 
philosophy and Buddhism. One passage enables us to fix an 
upper date with some certainty ; he describes a maiden as 
nydyasthiiim iva Uddyotakarasvartipdm Bauddhasamgatim iva 
Alamkdrabhusitdm. It is impossible to doubt that Uddyotakara 
is referred to ; perhaps the reference following is to Dharmakirti, 
the Buddhist logician, as (pivarama asserts, because we know now 
that Uddyotakara possibly used and was used by Dharmakirti, and 
nothing can be more natural than to find the two together. 
This means, ^ however, in view of the evidence available as to 
Dharmakirti s date, that Subandhu must be placed in the second 
quarter of the seventh century and that he was only a contem- 
porary of Bana whose work came to fruition before Bana's. 
Unlike that author, he cannot have enjoyed the patronage of 
Harsavardhana, and we may presume that his activity was 
carried on at some other capital. 

5 . The Vasavadatta 

Though the name Vasavadatta is famous in Indian literature, 
we do not find in it any parallel for the tale of Subandhu, unless 
we infer from the mere name recorded as the subject of an 
Akhyayika by Patanjali on Katyayana ^ that he knew of this 
story, a most implausible theory. Nor is it of much consequence 
whether we regard the work as falling technically into the cate- 
gory of Akhyayika or Katha. Bana^ indeed, seems to suggest 
the former appellation as appropriate, but while Dandin ^ is no 
doubt right in dismissing controversy on this point as foolish, it 
is clear that, if distinctions are made, the Vasavadatta accords 
with the nature of a Katha. Thus, if we take the essential feature 
of an Akhyayika to be that it is told by the hero, is divided into 
Ucchvasas, has passages in Vaktra^ and Aparavaktra metres, 
these characteristics do not suit the text ; if, on the other hand, 
we adopt Amarasinha’s ® distinction and make the subject-matter 

' Keith, JRAS. 1914, pp. 1102 (T. The Alamkara is not to be regarded as a work 
on poetics. 

* On Panini, iv. 3. 87 ; cf. on iv. a. 60, 

• Harsacarita,\, 10. < K'dvyddarfa, i. 33 ff. 

® Cf. Subandhu (ed. Hall), p. 184. ® i. 6. 5. ^ 


of the Akhyayika traditional as opposed to invented by the poet, 
i seems to disagree with the description of the 

Akhyayika. The similarity of the tale to the manner of the 
Kadambarl, which is clearly a Katha, is practically decisive in 
favour of that genre.^ But. accepting as we may the originality 
in some degree of the poet, we may admit that he makes use of 
the whole stock-in-trade of Indian narratives, the seeing in a 
dream of one’s future mate, the overhearing of the chatter of 
birds, magic steeds, the fatal effect of ascetics’ curses, transforma- 
tions of shape, and recovery of one’s true form by a lover’s 
embrace. It is essentially the aim of the poet not to trouble 

himself with the plot or the characters but to display his virtu- 
osity in language. 

King Cintamani has a beautiful son, Kandarpaketu, who in a 
dream beheld a girl of beauty exceeding his own ; sleep leaves 
him and with his friend Makaranda he sallies forth to seek the 
unknown. In the Vindhya as the prince lies sleepless he over- 
hears the curtain-lecture of an indignant Maina bird to her 
husband, who defends himself for late hours by telling how the 
monarch 9rngara9ekhara has a peerless daughter, Vasavadatta, 
who in a dream has seen the lovely vision of a youth, of whom 
she is deeply enamoured. She has sent her confidante TamalikS 
to bear to the youth an assurance of her deep love. There is no 
difficulty in securing the meeting of the two at Pataliputra, but 
the prince learns to his horror that the king, wearied of her un- 
wedded state, means forthwith to marry her to the Vidyadhara 
chief Puspaketu. The lovers therefore flee by means of a magic 
steed to the Vindhya where they fall asleep. Awakened, the 
prince finds to his sorrow that the maiden has departed, and in 
his despair he is only kept from self-destruction by a voice from 
the sky promising him reunion. After long wandering he finds 
a statue which at his touch awakens to life as his beloved, and in 
reunion they live in great happiness in Kandarpaketu’s capital. 
The plot it will be seen is negligible, not even worth serious 
criticism, but it would be quite unjust to accuse Subandhu of 
indecency or savagery as one distinguished editor did. To apply 

* The story contains the taking of a maiden, a battle (pp. 
{Jndian Poetry, p. i8j) is an oversight), separation, and 
Bhamaha (i. 27), and seems original. 

290 fif. ; Nobel’s denial 
success, as required by 


mid-Victorian conceptions of propriety to India is obviously 
absurd and wholly misleading. Indian writers, not excluding 
Kalidasa, indulge habitually con ainore in minute descriptions of 
the beauty of women and the delights of love which are not in 
accord with western conventions of taste. But the same condem- 
nation was applied by contemporaries to Swinburne, and Shake- 
speare’s frankness is more resented by English than by German 
taste. What is essential is to repel the connexion of such 
descriptions with immorality, and to assert that they must be 
approved or condemned on artistic grounds alone. There is all 
the world of difference between what we find in the great poets of 
India and the frank delight of Martial and Petronius in descrip- 
tions of immoral scenes. 

What we have in Subandhu is an exercise in style applied in 
descriptions of mountain, river, stream, the valour of the prince, 
the beauty of the heroine, and the strife of the contending armies, 
whose struggle led to the loss of the princess, who unwittingly 
trespassed into the garden of an ascetic and was cursed by him 
with the customary injustice of his kind to become a stone. Of 
serious characterization there is nothing whatever ; Subandhu’s 
own claim is that he is a storehouse of cleverness in the composi- 
tion of works in which there is a pun in every syllable {pratyaksa’^ 
raflesatnayavinydsavaidagdhyanidhi), and this is carried out in 
prose with occasional verses interspersed and with an introduction 
in verse. Subandhu’s translator has generously — and not without 
justice — claimed for him a true melody in the long rolling com- 
pounds, a sesquipedalian majesty which can never be equalled 
except in Sanskrit, a lulling music in the alliterations, and a com- 
pact brevity in the paronomasias which are in most cases veritable 
gems of terseness and twofold appropriateness. In fact Su- 
bandhu’s ideal was clearly the Gauda style with its enormous 
compounds, its love of etymologizing, its deliberate exaggera- 
tion, its love of harsh sounds, its fondness for alliteration, its 
attempt to match sense closely with sound, its research for 
recondite results in the use of figures and above all in parono- 
masias and cases of apparent incongruity. How far Subandhu’s 
accomplishment was original we cannot say in the absence of so 
much literature now lost, but Dandin certainly is very different 
in style, and it is of interest that in the period after Subandhu 


we begin to find in inscriptions ^ a rather free use of paronomasias 
►-and the figure incongruity {virodha). Thus, as a parallel to 
Subandhu’s dhanadendpi pracetasd^ ‘who is Kubera, yet also 
Varuna, for he is generous, yet wise,* we have dhanado 'pi na 
pramattah, ‘ he was Kubera, not Varuna, for he was generous, 
not inattentive/ It must, however, be said that alliteration, 
pretty when used with a point, becomes tedious when practised 
too often, and it is impossible not to be wearied by a string of 
puns even if they cannot be styled obscene and are at the worst 
only dull. Granted that the poet’s fancy * is able, with the re- 
sources of the Sanskrit language, to find a vast variety of clever 
double entendres^ moderation and judgement are conspicuously 
lacking throughout in Subandhu. Moreover, he has to perfection 
the capacity of constructing a vast sentence which rests on a single 
verb, while in its enormous compass by means of a series of 
epithets, each composed of a long compound, it contains infinitely 
more matter than the mind can conveniently assimilate at one 
time. The disadvantage of the prose form is here abundantly 
apparent ; the stanza compels compression and a certain modera- 
tion, and Subandhu has verses^ which show that, when placed 
under restraint, he was capable of really effective writing. The 
picture of the lion^s attack lacks puns and is admirable. 

danstrdkotivigahkatdsyakuhara/i kurvan satdm utkatdm 
utkarnah kurute kramam karipatau krurdkrtih kesari* 

‘ See, the lion, raising the hind quarters of his fair body, with the 
fore quarters depressed, his tail, slightly bent, remaining poised 
over his firm arched back, his cavernous mouth terrible with the 
tips of his fangs, tossing aloft his mane, with ears erect, doth 
make, with aspect dread, his assault on the lord of elephants.* 
The picture of the lion is perfect in every detail, and the allitera- 
tions rather heighten the effect, while the frequent use of t and 

^ Gwalior inscr. (874-5) El- *57; cf. inscr. of Govinda III (807-8), El. vi. 
246 ff. and others (Gray, p. 31). 

* Here and there he reduced to prose older verses ; Zachanae, Gurupfijilkauniuji, 
pp. 38 ff. 

* After the twelve Aryas of the introduction there are only three cases of verses, 
Ary 5 , (^ftrdulavikridita (2) ; (Jikharini, Sragdhara ; Arya. 


harsh sound-combinations makes the effect all the more impres- 
sive, illustrating what in poetics ranks as Svabhavokti, which is 
m essentials a vivid description. An instance of the figure 
Sahokti, unified description, which is found already in the Ranta- 
yciHa, is found in : satnam dvi^am dhattufam ca jlvdkrstim yodhdg 
cakruh. • The warriors drew at once their bow-strings and took 
their enemies’ lives.’ The figure Utpreksa, lively fancy, is seen 
in many imaginative flights, such as the description of the moon 
as . d^htdhavale kalaksapanakagrasapinda iva nigdyamundpke- 
napuhja tva menakanakhamdrjanagilagakala iva, ‘white as curd, 
shaped like a ball of food for an ascetic’s meal, as it were a mass 
of the foam of the Yamuna, night, a sliver of stone for the polish- 
ing of Menaka’s nails.' Akin to this is the mental picture in- 
volved in supposition, Sambhavana : tvatkrte ydnayd vedandnu- 
bhutd sa yadi mbhali pair dy ate sdgaro meldnanddyate brahmdyate 
liptkaro bhujagardjdyate kathakas tadd kirn api katham apy 
anekayugasahasrair abkilikhyaie kathyate vd. ' The sorrow that 
this maiden hath endured because of thee might be written or 
told only in some way or another in thousands of seons, if the 
sky became the paper, the sea the inkwell, Brahman himself the 
scribe, and the Lord of Serpents the narrator.’ * Within limits 
puns are attractive, as in the verse : 

sa.rasavattd vthatd na vakd vilasanti carati no kahkah 
saraslva kirtigesam gatavati bhuvi Vikramdditye. 

‘Moisture is gone (eloquence is destroyed), the cranes sport not 
(new men plume themselves), the heron is gone (who devours not 
whom ?), like a lake Vikraniaditya hath left the earth, save 
indeed m fame.’ Even on a larger scale it may be effective • 
nvdkrjtifh sa cakre mrdhabhuvi dhanu^ah gatrur dstd gatdsur 
lakfdpttr margandndm abhavad aribale tadyagas tena labdham 
mukta tena ksameti tvaritam aribalair nttamdhgaik pravi^td 
pahcatvam dve^isainye gatam avanipatirndpa samkhydntaram. 
‘The king on the battlefield drew to himself the life (string) of 
his bow; yet the enemy perished. In the host of the foe sup- 
pliants received a lakh of gold (the king’s artows found their 
mark), yet the glory (due to them for generosity) was won by 
him. Thinking he had abandoned the earth, the foe swiftly 

pp! fos7*”****’ ’93 ff. ; Zachariae, Kl. Schri/ttn, 


occupied it with their heads (the king losing patience, the foe was 
swiftly laid low with head on earth in death). The hostile host 
five times sought battle (met with death) ; the king needed no 
higher number (as all were disposed of).' Still, while this com- 
mingling of the pun, ?lesa, and apparent incongruity, Virodhaor 
Virodhabhasa, is ingenious, it is clearly fatiguing when kept up. 
Still more irritating is the further development in the figure of 
exhaustive statement, Parisarhkhya, when it is intended to ex- 
press by words not only their literal sense but a denial of what 
might be the sense if a pun were intended ; thus in netrotpdtanam 
munlndm we are to sec the sense ‘there was plucking out of 
roots in the case of wormwood trees only (for ascetics do not 
pluck out their eyes).* Sound effects are sometimes ingenious, as 
in the following Yamaka describing the wind : dndolitakusu* 
makesare kegarenumusi ranitamadhuramanindm ramanlndfn 
vikacakumuddkare mudakarCy * rocking the filaments of the 
flowers, stealing the pollen from the hair of fair damsels with 
sweet chiming jewels, expanding many a lotus, and causing 
delight,' But alliteration, Anuprasa, can be merely tedious, as 
in the description of the Reva as : madakalakalahahsasdrasara- 
sitodbhrdn iabhdhkiitavikatapucchacchatdvyddh utavikacakantala- 
khandavigalitamakarandabindusandohasurabhitasalilayd, ‘ whose 
waters were fragrant by the many drops of juice fallen from the 
fragments of full-blown lotuses shaken by many a monstrous tail 
of fish scared by the notes, indistinct through passion, of the 
geese and herons.* It is clear that this is an utter abuse of 
language.^ The work would indeed be unreadable, were it not 
for the care taken by the author to vary his long compounds by 
occasional short words in order to permit the reader to breathe 
and gain some comprehension of what has gone before, and 
notably in occasional short dialogue passages, as when he describes 
the talk of lovers at night, he realizes the necessity of the use of 
short sentences. But if his tale is of the genus Katha, he docs 
his best by length of compounds to establish the falsity of the 
suggestion of Anandavardhana ^ that the compounds of Akhya- 
yikas can be longer than those of the Katha. 

^ Cf. Peterson’s denunciation of the ‘ graceless string of extravagant and indecent 
puns’. Martial has equally been too freely censured for indecency, e.g. Teuffel- 
Schwabe, Hist. Rom. Lit,, § 323. 5. * Dhvany&lokay pp. cf. 134 ff. 



6. Bands Life and Works 

Bana has most fortunately preserved for us some account of 
his fame by giving up the first two and a half chapters of his 
Harsacarita to an account of himself and his family. He was 
a Brahmin of the Vatsyayanas, whose mythical origin he depicts 
in detail ; his great-grandfather Pa^upata had a son Arthapati 
who had eleven sons, of whom Citrabhanu married the Brahmin 
lady Rajyadevi and had as son Bana. His mother died young, 
and his father brought him up with tender care until, after his 
initiation at the age of fourteen, he died untimely ; the history 
of this part of his life is hinted at in the touching picture at the 
beginning of the Kddambart of the fate of the young parrot. 
After his father’s death Bana mixed, it is clear, in dubious com- 
pany, though in part it was literary, including a poet in the 
vernacular {bhd^dkavi)^ l5ana, the Prakrit poet Vayuvikara, two 
panegyrists, a painter, two singers, a music teacher, an actor, 
a (^aiva devotee, a Jain monk, a Brahmin mendicant, and many 
others. A fit of wandering seized him and he went far, acquiring 
evil repute in abundance. But by consorting with the wise and 
the good he claims to have redeemed a misspent youth, and 
finally returned to his home at Pritikuta. When there he 
received a royal summons through Krsna, brother of Harsa- 
vardhana, who as a friend warned him to make his peace with 
the king — which suggests that Bana had been engaged in some- 
thing worse than sowing wild oats. At any rate he went to the 
royal camp, and was received with marked coldness even accord- 
ing to his own account by the king, but shortly afterwards 
received the royal favour. That is all we know definitely of his 
fate in life. He proceeds to tell us that he recited the Harsacarita 
because on a visit home he was asked to speak of the great king, 
but the story is unfinished, and what is more striking, the Kddatn- 
barl also is incomplete, though an end was made for it by his son 
Bhusana Bhatta or Bhat^a Pulina, who states that he did so because 
regret was felt at the incomplete condition of the work. It is by 
no means clear which of the two works really was written first, 
though there is a good deal to be said for the priority of the 
Harsacarita. We may, however, believe that there was much 
touching-up of either tale during Bana’s lifetime. 

BANA’S life and works 315 

Of Bana’s date we are approximately certain ; he must have 
been fairly young when Harsavardhana in his greatness patronized 
him, and we have no reason to suppose that he first became 
acquainted with the king early in his reign.l It is assumed in 
the Harsacarita that the king disposed of his enemy, the Gauda 
king, and as reference is made to the king’s vow to assume the 
garb of a Buddhist mendicant when he has punished his brother’s 
murder, we may assume that Bana was well aware of the 
Buddhist sentiments which Hiuen Tsang so fully records. We 
may hold, therefore, that Bana wrote late in his reign, which 
ended in 647, and this is borne out by his mention of the 
Vasavadattd, which he clearly imitated. Of the legend which 
makes him a son-in-law of the poet Mayura we can find no con- 
firmation in his narrative, for among his associates he merely 
mentions a snake-doctor Mayuraka, and it would be amazing if 
he leally passed over without allusion his being his father-in-law. 
He was, it will be seen, a Brahmin of pure race, of means, and 
royal favour, but he was clearly far from bigoted ; he presents 
to us abundant and detailed proof of the amity in which 
Buddhists and very many kinds of Hindu sectaries lived together, 
discussing and disputing, but without the rancour which the 
Chinese pilgrim’s reports suggest sometimes showed itself against 
the Buddhists. 

Besides his two romances, Bana is credited with the Candtfa- 
taka and with the play Pdrvatlparinaya. The feebleness of that 
work both in construction and style might have deterred critics 
from accepting the attribution, and in point of fact it is clear 
that it was the production of Vamana Bhatta Bana in the 
fifteenth century.^ The ascription of the Ratndvall to him is also 
merely an fdle surmise, for the limited imagination and restrained 
diction of the author of that piece are wholly unlike the over- 
fertile conception of Bana and his amazing command of words. 
Later tradition recognized in him the poet who received, indeed, 
rich rewards from his royal patron, but whose picture of the king 

' This is assumed by all who ascribe Bana to c, a. d. 620. We cannot even say that 
he did not know of Pulake9in’s interruption of Harsa’s joy, recorded in an inscription 
of some poetic merit ; EHI, p. 353. 

* R. Schmidt, AKM. xiii. 4 (1917). He wrote a Nalcibhyudaya (TSS. 3, 1913) 
and the romance, imitating Bana, Vemabhupdlacanta. 

3i6 the great romances 

lived on for ever, long after the elephants and the jewels given to 
the singer had passed into nothingness.^ 

7. The Harsacarita 

Bana opens the Harsacarita^ by a brief summary in verse of 
the models in poetry whom he admired, the author of the 
Bhdrata^ the writer of Vdsavadattd^ the prose of Haricandra — to 
us merely a name, Satavahana’s treasure of song, the poem of 
Pravarasena, doubtless the Setubandha in Prakrit, Bhasa*s plays, 
Kalidasa’s flowers of speech, honey-sweet, and the Brhatkathd. 
He records the love of the north for plays on words, of the west 
for sense, of the south for poetical fancy, Utpreksa,and of Gauda 
for pomp of syllables, and admits that it is hard to combine, 
what he evidently holds as ideal, a fresh subject-matter, a diction 
not common, double meanings obtained without forcing, a domi- 
nant sentiment clearly expressed, richness in sonorous words. 
Then he pronounces his purpose in a stanza often misunder- 
stood : ^ 

Adhyardjakrtoisdhair hrdayasthaih smrtair api 
jihvdntah krsyatndneva na kavitve pravartate, 

‘ The mighty deeds of my great king, which fill my heart though 
remembered only, restrain my tongue and forbid it to proceed 
to the poet’s task.* This seems a clear intimation that he is to 
celebrate deeds of Harsa which he heard of from others, but 
which none the less filled so fully his heart as almost to prevent 

Bana then proceeds in chapter i to relate the descent of his 
family and his own life to the end of his rash youth. Chapter ii 
carries us no further than the reception of the message and his 
journey to the royal camp, where he sees and admires so fully 
the points of the king’s great steed that he can hardly exceed 
his accomplishment of hyperbole in his description of Harsa 
himself. Chapter iii relates how Bana, on a visit home, received 

• So^dhaln, Udayasundarikaihd^ p* 3 ; Kdvyaprakafa^ i. a ; Subhdsitdvali^ 150. 

• Ed. NSP. 1918; trans. E. B. Cowell and F. W. Thomas, London, 1897; ed. 
A. FUhrer, BSS. 1909; P. V. Kane, Bombay, 1918 ; S. D. and A. B. Gajendragadkar, 
Poona, 1919. 

• Nobel {^Indian Poetry^ p. 179) still talks of Adhyaraja^s Utsdha. Pischel (GN. 
1901, pp. 485-7) first recognized him as Har^. 


entreaties to tell of the king and how he complied. A long 
description of SthanvI^vara, the capital of the race whence the 
king sprang, leads up to a eulogy of a mythical king Puspabhuti 
and an elaborate description of his friend and associate in 
adventure, Bhairavacarya. In chapter iv, after a vague allusion 
to the glorious kings sprung from Puspabhuti, we are abruptly 
carried to Prabhakaravardhana, whose great deeds are lightly 
alluded to, while the stress of the tale deals first with the queen’s 
behaviour during the time when her first child was yet unborn, 
the mirth and wild revelry in the city when Rajyavardhana was 
born, the births of Harsa and his sister Rajya9rl, and the 
wedding of the latter to the Maukhari Grahavarman, evidently 
an event of great political importance to the family. With great 
skill, on this picture of happy wedlock and joyful celebration of 
a glad event follows a chapter of unrelieved tragedy, Rajya- 
vardhana is bidden attack the Hunas and departs with his great 
host ; Harsa accompanies him, but is attracted to go hunting, 
whence he is rudely recalled by learning of the grave illness of 
his father. He comes back to find the whole capital convulsed 
with anxiety, and in a series of brilliant pictures we are shown 
the illness of the fevered king whose anguish nothing can relieve, 
the certainty of a fatal issue, the suicide of Harsa^s mother 
whence her son vainly would have stayed her, the final passing 
away of the great king after an oration to his son whose sincerity 
can be felt under the embroideiy of Bana’s imagination, his 
obsequies, and the deep mourning of the prince. From this 
stupor he is aroused by the return of Rajyavardhana, who is 
eager to throw on Harsa the duties of sovereignty and to 
abandon himself to grief; Harsa urges constancy and resolve, 
and at the moment of indecision the dread news is brought ; the 
Malava king has slain Grahavarman and imprisoned Rajya9r!. 
Rajyavardhana determines to proceed at once to punish the 
miscreant, commanding Bhandi to follow with 10,000 horse, and 
declining Harsa ’s aid, lest it be doing too much honour thus to 
accumulate forces against so worthless a prince. Harsa remains 
at home in gloom, swiftly to be deepened by the report of 
Rajyavardhana's success over the Malava king but of his 
treacherous murder by a Gauda king ; Harsa would wage imme- 
diate war, but Skandagupta gives sage advice, reinforced as usual 


by many a parallel from legend ; Harsa obeys and prepares for 
war, while omens of evil menace the. fate of his enemies. 
Chapter vii pictures in extraordinary vividness of detail the 
movements of an Indian army with its utter confusion, its vast 
masses of impedimenta, its countless camp-followers from the 
ladies of the court to the meanest hangers-on, the destruction 
wrought on the countryside, the vain claims of the landholders 
for exemption from pillage. We hear too of an ambassador from 
the king of Assam who tenders to the king a present of an 
umbrella of great beauty, and in due course the king reaches the 
Vindhya, again described in picturesque and minute detail. 
Chapter viii presents to us the figure of Nirghata, a young 
mountaineer, who is to aid Harsa in seeking in the Vindhya 
region for Rajya9ri, who has escaped from her confinement and 
is believed to be wandering in that forest region. By his 
advice the king seeks the holy ascetic Divakaramitra, whose 
hermitage, with its pious animals who have imbibed the Buddhist 
faith, is brilliantly portrayed. The king asks his aid, and as the 
holy man is regretfully admitting that he has not heard of the 
princess an ascetic enters with the news that a lady is about to 
burn herself in despair, and asks the holy man to comfort her 
and stay her deed. The king rushes to find his sister on the 
point of perishing with her maidens ; he restrains her and takes 
her to the sage. The princess begs to be allowed to end a life 
that now is worthless to her ; the sage, however, with wise words 
restrains her action and bids her live as her brother begs. Harsa 
then asks him to come with him and comfort and guide his sister 
while he carries out his vow of vengeance; this accomplished 
both will adopt the red garments of the faith. The sage gladly 
agrees ; the party returns to the camp, and the book breaks off 
in a description of the advent of night while the tale of the 
recovery of Rajya^ri is being told. 

Historically we may say that the work is of mininial value, 
though in our paucity of actual records it is something even to 
have this. But chronology is weak and confused, it is extremely 
difficult to make out the identity ’of the king of Malava,^ and 
even the Gauda king is only indirectly indicated as ^a9anka, 

> Cf. Smith, EHI. pp. 350 if. ; R. Mookerji, Hanha^ pp. 50 ff. 


whose name is given by Hiuen Tsang.* Bana has not attempted 
to make intelligible the course of events which rendered it 
possible for the Gauda king to come into hostile contact with 
Rajyavardhana in or near Malava, and it is difficult not to 
suppose that he desired, writing at a considerable distance of 
time, to leave what was long past in a vague position. What he 
does supply to history is the vivid pictures of the army, of the 
life of the court, of the sectaries and their relations to the 
Buddhists, and the avocations of a Brahmin and his friends. 

8. The Kadambari 


The Harsacarita ranks as an Akhyayika, and in fact it has 
been adopted as the model of* that form by later writers on 
poetics such as Rajafekhara. It is divided into Ucchvasas, con- 
tains occasional verses, and if not narrated by the hero, Harsa, is 
at least narrated by the sub-hero, Bana himself, whose history 
takes up the first two and a half chapters. The Kadambariy on 
the other hand, is a Katha, and it lacks the distinctive marks of 
the Akhyayika. In point of fact it has a complex structure of its 
own, for it consists of a long narrative in which are interwoven 
other narratives given by characters of the work. In a sense, 
therefore, if it were worth while seeking to fix terminology in 
a manner which was unknown to Indian writers, a Katha might 
be deemed ^ a complex Akhyayika, one in which a main narrative 
was the mode in which sub-narratives came to be set forth in due 
place. The essence of the form of the Kadambari is the use of 
these sub-narratives to explain matters which the main narrator 
could not himself know ; he does not gather all his information 
into a whole and set it out in an ordered fashion, but he allows 
us to have it as the matters came to the knowledge of his hero 
during the course of his actual experience. This is a definite 
and marked plan which makes the Kadambari in point of struc- 
ture very different from the Da^akumaracarita or a text like 
the Pancatantray in which sub-narratives are included. It may 
originally have been the plan of the Brhatkathd as Gunadhya 

* For a defence of him see Majuradar, Early Hist, of Bengal y pp. i6 ff. 

“ F. Lac6tc, Milanges Liviy pp. 250 ff. For comments on the valueless distinctions 
in Indian writers, see Nobel, Indian Poetry y pp. 156 ff. ; S. K. D^, BSOS. iii. 507 ff., 
who themselves differ on one vital point, the content of the Katha. 


3 »> 

conceived it, though that characteristic is lost in the versions 
which have come down to us, and in any case it is very dubious 
if the same plan were ever systematically carried out in that 
work. But it is interesting to note how, in the Kddambarl and 
probably in the Brhatkathd tale whence the story is largely 
derived, we find the highest perfection of a manner beloved in 
India, the inclusion of one tale within another. In the logically 
simplest form we have it in the Jataka style where a tale of old 
is led up to by a tale of to-day, and the story ends with the 
application to to-day of the legend of the past. In such works 
as the Vetdlapancavih^atikd there is a closer approach to tb^ 
Kddambarl inasmuch as the tales of the Vampire are all cot^ ^ 
nected with the main purpose of the king, and thus, though 
distinct in themselves, serve to help on one main purpose. In 
the Pancatantra we reach a further improvement, for the stories, 
in themselves unconnected and m^ny told to illustrate principles, 
are put in the mouths of the characters of the frame story, or in 
the case of narratives included in subordinate stories in the 
mouths of the persons of the latter. Yet a closer approach is 
achieved in the Da^akumdracarita in so far as the princes each 
narrate their own experiences, thus introducing a degree of life 
which is wanting in the other forms, for in the Jatakas, though 
the Bodhisattva tells a tale of what was really his past 
experience, it is not narrated in the first person. As the idea of 
the Da^akumdracarita is doubtless borrowed from the Brhatkathd^ 
we have an additional proof of the free use there of this device 
of first-hand narrative which is still further developed in the 
Kddambarl^ because the whole of the tales told are essentially 
part of one complex action, unlike those of the princes of the 
romance of Dandin. But in one respect there is more semblance 
of realism in the Da^akumdracarita ; the Kddambarl places its 
main narrative in effect in the mouth of the sage Jabali, who 
knows by his great insight the tale he relates ; he places himself 
largely at the point of view of the hero Candrapida, but that 
prince is not actually the narrator. The adoption of this device 
had already taken place in the Brhatkathd^ where we find a close 

^ Ed. P. Peterson, BSS. 1883; P* V. Kane, Bombay, 1920 ; trans. C. M. Ridding, 
1906, V. 2 of the introduction is copied in a Pallava inscr. of Amaravati, South Ind. 
Inscr,^ i. 26; Kielhom, GN. 1903, pp. 3iof. 


parallel in substance and form to the Kadambari in the tale of 
king Sumanas. Doubtless both Somadeva and Ksemendra may 
have been influenced by Bana*s work, and the latter certainly 
was, but there is no ground whatever to suspect that the Kash- 
ipiirian compilers borrowed the tale from Bana* In every respect 
the relation between what we can reconstruct as the original and 
Bana is that of development and elaboration in the romance. 

The poet opens his work with some stanzas in which he 
suggests that his Katha is seeking favour by its novel subject 
and phraseology, its brilliant vivid descriptions, its resplendent 
similes and Dipakas, figures where one word serves as predicate 
to series of clauses. We learn then of Qadraka of Vidi 9 a on the 
Vetravati river; to him a Candala maiden of wondrous beauty 
brings a parrot, and after persuasion it tells the following narra- 
tive. In its youth it lost its mother and was tenderly reared, 
like Bana, by its father, who was killed by a Qabara ; the young 
parrot was taken by Harita to the hermitage of his father, Jabali, 
who looks kindly at the bird and says that it is reaping the fruit 
of past misconduct. On entreaty Jabali tells the tale which the 
parrot repeats. We hear of Tarapida of Ujjain and his minister 
Qukanasa ; the moon seems in a vision to enter the queen who 
bears a glorious son, Candrapida, while (^ukanasa is blessed with 
Vai9ampayana, born of a lotus placed in his wife's bosom. The 
two grow up in loving amity ; at sixteen, when both have been 
fully trained, they are brought home from the place in which 
they have spent their time, and Candrapida receives the gift of 
a wondrous horse, Indrayudha, and from the queen a maiden 
Pattralekha, a captive daughter of the king of Kulilta^ With his 
steed to aid him and the sage counsel of (^ukanasa to guide him, 
he enters on a campaign of world conquest lasting three years. 
But one day, seeing a pair of Kinnaras^ quaint semihuman 
animals, he pursues them so far that he is lost and arrives at 
a lovely lake graced by the presence of a lovelorn maiden, 
Maha9veta. On his persuasion she tells her tale in the first 
person. She is daughter of a Gandharva and an Apsaras ; she 
had seen a beautiful ascetic boy, Pundarlka, and his friend, 
Kapinjala, learned that the former was the mind-born son of 


* Cf. Foucher, VArt Grico^Bouddhiqtu du Gandhdra^ ii. 21 f. 


Laksmi, goddess of beauty, and the ascetic Qvetaketu, had loved 
him, but too late to prevent his death from unfulfilled longing. 
At this point she faints but, revived by Candrapida, proceeds to 
the end. She had decided to die, but, as she was about to ascend 
the pyre a majestic figure descended from the sky, took up 
Pundarlka^s body and promised her reunion if she lived ; hence 
her decision to live at lake Acchoda awaiting her beloved. We 
are then told how Candrapida learns of her friend Kadambari of 
like descent, who will not wed because her friend remains 
a maiden ; Maha9veta takes the prince with her to visit her 
friend, of whom Candrapida becomes deeply enamoured, while 
she shares his love. But, before the two have plighted troth, 
Candrapida is compelled by a summons from his father to return, 
and, leaving Pattralekha with Kadambari for a few days, he 
hurries on, bidding Vai9ampayana bring back his forces. He is 
received with joy at Ujjain, but is tormented by love, and gladly 
hears of his dear one from Pattralekha ; at this point Bana's work 
ends and his son’s continuation begins. Further news comes 
from Keyuraka, increasing Candrapida’s desire to return to 
Kadambari, but he must await Vai9ampayana and the host. The 
latter comes, but the officers tell the sad tale of the fact that 
Vai9ampayana had insisted on staying at the lake as one dis- 
traught ; the king suggests that Candrapida has done him some 
wrong, but ^ukanasa hotly defends the prince and blames his son, 
while Candrapida is convinced that Vai9ampayana is blameless. 
Permitted to seek him, he proceeds to the lake, and finds 
Maha9veta in even more profound grief than before. She narrates 
her tale : Vai9ampayana had fallen in love with her, she, true to 
Pundarika, had repulsed him, and, wearied with his parrot repeti- 
tions of love, had cursed him to become a parrot, whereupon he 
had forthwith died. This is too much for Candrapida who dies 
straightway. Maha9veta mourns him, when Kadambari with 
Pattralekha enters, resolves on death, prepares the pyre, when 
a light breaks forth from the bed and a voice from heaven tells 
Maha9veta that Pundarika’s body is incorruptible in heaven, 
while Kadambari is to guard Candrapiqia’s body until the curse 
which slew him is over. Pattralekha, who had fainted, awakes, 
springs on IndrSyudha who is among the mourners, dashes into 
the lake whence emerges Kapiftjala. He now takes up the tale ; 


^hen Pundarlka*s body was carried away, he had followed and 
the Moon had deigned to explain the happening ; dying, Punda- 
rlka had cursed him, though blameless, to suffer himself on earth 
the pangs of that love which was destroying him. He in turn 
has vowed that Pundarika should share his misfortunes and had 
'taken the body away to keep until the appointed time of his own 
descent to earth. Kapihjala was returning with this news, when 
he was cursed by a semidivine being, over whom he ran, to 
become a horse ; on entreaty the curse was modified to end this 
condition on his master's death, and he learned that the Moon 
and Pundarika were about to be incarnated as Candrapida and 
Vai5ampayana, and he as the horse Indrayudha. So saying, 
Kapinjala goes out to seek ^vetaketu's advice to end the curse ; 
of Pattralekha he knows nothing. Maha9veta and Kadambarl 
decided to spend the time together beside the body of the prince 
which became lovelier every day, and Tarapida and ^ukanasa 
with their wives joined in the vigil. Here ended Jabali’s tale, 
and the parrot knew the truth, that it was Vai^ampayana dreeing 
the weird appointed for him. The impatient parrot desires to 
know its future fate, but is rebuked for its haste, and told that it 
would have as brief a life in its new condition as when Pundarika. 
It is consoled by the advent of Kapinjala, sent to it by Qvetaketu 
with the news that he and LaksmI, ashamed of past neglect, are 
now engaged in sacrifice to end the curse, and that it must stay 
peacefully in the hermitage until the due season. Impatient, 
however, it flies off, is caught by a Candala for his princess, who 
has brought it to the king ; this is all it knows and here ends its 
tale, which the poet resumes. The Candala maiden reveals herself 
as Laksmi, mother of the parrot, who had captured it to save it 
from the consequences of filial disobedience ; she bids the king 
now quit this life and both he and the parrot at once perish, thus 
completing the human lives in which they had to suffer. At this 
moment Candrapida comes to life in KSdambarl’s eyes, Pundarika 
descends from the sky, all are reunited, Candrapida places 
Pundarika on the throne, and in devotion to his parents spends 
his time partly at Ujjain, partly at Hemakuta, Kadambarl's 
parental home, and partly in the moon, his own abode, while 
Pattralekha is revealed as RohinI, best beloved of the queens of 
the Moon. 


We can see from the Kathdsaritsagara ^ that Bana has followed 
in his part very faithfully the main outlines of the story, though 
the names in the two versions are quite different, and the Kash- 
mirian version has the Himalaya and Vidyadharas for the more 
southern regions and Gandharvas and Apsarases of Bana. Bana, 
moreover, expands and duplicates; he creates the attractive 
character of ^ukanasa, wise and loyal, and brings Vai^ampayana 
in as comrade of Candrapida ; he has even two Kinnaras for the 
one of the tale, and develops the theme of his hero’s birth as he 
does that of the children in the Harsacariia, All his own are his 
brilliant descriptions and his elaborations of the signs of love in 
his hero and heroine. In the tale, however, after the prince’s 
departure the princess, Makarandika, annoys by her grief her 
parents so deeply that she is cursed to become a Nisada maiden, 
while her father it is who, ashamed of his action, dies and 
becomes the parrot, who repeats the tale of its own experiences 
and what it heard Pulastya recite to king Sumanas. At the 
court of that prince Somaprabha is reunited to the Nisada 
maiden, who resumes her true shape, and it is the king who is 
revealed as Ra9mimant, mind-son of the sage Didhiti, and is 
united to Manorathaprabha, while the parrot is released and reaps 
the fruit of its asceticism. 

This is indeed a strange tale, and to those who have no belief 
in rebirth, or even in a reunion after this mortal life, its appeal 
must be gravely diminished, and the whole must seem rather 
a fantastic if not idle romance with uninteresting characters living 
in an unreal atmosphere. But from the point of view of Indian 
belief the case is far other, and the story may justly be deemed 
replete with the tenderness of human love, the beneficence of 
divine consolation, the pathos and sorrow of death, and the 
abiding hope of reunion after death as a result of unswerving 
fidelity to love. To Indian minds also there is a strong appeal 
in the element of the miraculous, nor to them is there anything 
save attraction in the wonderful history of the Moon and Punda- 
rika, even the appearance of the latter in parrot form has nothing 
ludicrous when it is believed that human beings do pass from 
one body to another. Bana’s treatment of love is refined and 
graceful, and shows itself at its best in the scenes between 

' lix. 3 2 flf. ; BrhatkaihdmaJijarl^ xvi. iSsff. ; MaAkowski, WZKM. xv. 313 ff. 


Kadambari and the prince ; in his account of the feelings of 
Kadambarl from the time when she mounted the terrace of her 
palace to gaze on the prince, Bana achieves a wonderful insight 
into the currents of youthful passion and virgin modesty which 
sway a ghVs mind when first she is moved to love.^ All credit 
is also due to him for his effective characterization of so many 
minor characters ; to Tarapida, Vilasavati his queen, and, above 
all, to ^ukanasa he has imparted both life and colour, while the 
devotion of Pattralekha is touchingly portrayed. 

There is also no lack of movement, and Bana is perfectly well 
aware of the advantage of contrast, as when he brings vividly 
before us the innocent life of the parrots under their Qalmali 
tree or the peaceful quiet of Jabali’s hermitage, on the one hand, 
and the pomp and display of the courts of ^udraka and Tarapida 
on the other. His sense of drama is revealed by the introduction 
with its brilliant portraits of ^^Qdraka and the Candala maiden, 
while his love for nature and his close observation reveal them- 
selves in his descriptions of the Himalaya, of lake Acchoda, of 
Maha9veta's abode, and in minor touches throughout. As in the 
Harsacartia he blends description of nature^s own beauties with 
those of the cities* and works of men^s hands, so we can set his 
pictures of palaces and towns against those of hermitage and 
country. The political insight which reveals itself in the dis- 
courses of the Harsacarita is again exhibited in ^ukanasa*s 
admonitions to the young prince, and the advice of Kapinjala to 
Pundarika. We seem, however, to find a more mature view and 
a deeper insight into the springs of human action in the Kdciam- 
bari than in the Harsacarita^ supporting the conclusion as to the 
later date of the Kadambari. 

It would, however, be unfair to ignore the grave defects of 
Bana, not merely in respect of style, but also of structure, for 
nothing will make the Kadambari other than difficult to follow 
in its complex of past and present lives, and its lack of propor- 
tfon ; the descriptions are always overdone, especially in the case 
of Maha9veta and of the temple of Candika ; Bana does not let 
his reader see the wood for the trees ; in his devotion to the 
beauties of the evening or morning, or the rising of the moon, or 
the limbs of his heroine, he often loses sight of the plot itself. 

* Cf. Apollonius KhocHus* view of Medea. 


Of his son little need be said. He unquestionably is inferior 
to his father, even if we may excuse his h/urried treatment of the 
remainder of the plot on the score of |ts inherent d'tjSiculties. - He 
prolongs the description of Kadambati’s lovelorn condition out 
of reason, while he is deficient in his father's fertile imagination, 
and cannot draw on his wealth of mythological knowledge and 
observation of Indian flora and fauna. Moreover, he attempts no 
parallel to (^ukanasa's display of knowledge of life. 

9. Bands Style 

Weber,' who was rarely moved to wrath, made once a most 
effective protest against Bana's defects of style ; he condemned 
him, as compared with Dandin, for a subtlety and tautology which 
were repugnant, the outrageous overloading of single words with 
epithets, the construction of sentences in which the solitary verb 
is held over for pages, the interval being filled by epithets and 
epithets upon these epithets, these epithets moreover frequently 
extending over more than a line in the form of compounds, so 
that Bana's prose is an Indian wood where progress is impossible 
through the undergrowth until the traveller cuts out a path for 
himself, and where even then he is confronted by malicious wild 
beasts in the shape of unknown words to terrify him. The cen- 
sure is just ; Bana revels in the construction of sentences consist- 
ing of heaped up epithets in compound form, throwing away all 
the advantages of an inflected language; moreover he loves to 
pile up in these compounds double meanings, and these he brings 
about repeatedly by the use of rare senses of ordinary words or 
the use of utterly abnormal phraseology. He shows his exact 
knowledge of grammar in many points, and adheres to the due 
use of the perfect, as against Subandhu who employs it as a narra- 
tive tense without the restriction of reference to matters not 
within the experience of him who uses it. His employment of 
the figures of speech is unwearying, and he is largely dominated 
by the desire to produce prose which shall be rhythmical. His 
long compounds are often clearly built up and interspersed with 

* Accepted by M. R. Kale, Kadambari^ p. 25. Weber’i treatise on the romances is 
in Ind. Streifen^ i, 308-86. 


shorter words simply in order to achieve this effect which Dandin 
and other writers of poetics extol under the style of Ojas, 
strength. Like other Indian authors he clearly attaches to this 
end an importance foreign to our conceptions, but part at least 
of his influence on later writers such as Dharmadasa, Govardhana, 
and Jayadeva must be assigned to his sound effects as well as to 
his brilliance in figures of speech, to which they no doubt, from 
a modern point of view, attached undue merit. But it is fair to 
remember that Bana is by no means without sense of propriety ; 
he can resort to brief interchange of speeches when he deems it 
fit, Ki*pinjala*s advice to Pundarika is direct and forcible, and the 
ejaculations of the maidens of the queen Rajya^ri when on the 
point of lighting the pyre, or of the dying king Prabhakara- 
vardhana, are perfectly phrased. In its own way there is a model 
of force in the picture of the exclamations of the motley host of 
the royal army and the cries of the despairing villagers who are 
being plundered right and left. Nor is Bana at all incapable of 
epigrammatic brevity, though unhappily he too rarely prac- 
tises it. 

The description of the doorkeeper,^ a maiden, in the Kadam- 
barl exhibits his normal style : ekadd tu ndtidurodite navaptalu 
Piadalasampiitabhidi kwicidupimuktapatalinmi bhagavati sahasra- 
viaricintc^ipii rdjdnam asthapiappiandapagatam ahgandjanavirud- 
dhepta vdmapdp^Qvdvalappibipid kaiikseyakeiia saphnihitavisadhareva 
candanalaid bhisanarapnaniydkrtir aviralacapidaiidpiiilepapiadha- 
valitastanatatopimajjadaip'dvatakumbhapnandaleva manddkml cu- 
ddpnanipratibUnbacchalena rdjdjneva murtimati rdjabhih giro- 
bhir uhyamdnd garad iva kalahaiisadhavalambara jamadagnya- 
paragudhareva vagikrtasakalardjamandald vifidhyavanabhupnir 
iva vetralatdvatl rdjyadhidevateva vigrahiptl pratlhdrl samupa- 
srtya kgititalanihiiajdptukarakamald savinayapn abravlt, ‘ Once, 
when the sun, garlanded with a thousand rays, bursting open the 
fresh lotus buds, relaxing something of his ruddy hue, had risen 
no great space in the sky, to the king seated in the presence 
chamber, came the keeper of the door, and with bent knee and 
lotusrlike hand touching the ground addressed his majesty. Her 
form was lovely, yet dread, even as a .sandal plant wherein lurks 

^ Fot the representation of such a Yavanl in art see Foucher, V Art Grho-Bouddhi^ 
que du Gandkara^ ii. 70 ff. 


a snake, by reason of the sword which she wore at her left side, 
belying her womanhood ; she was as it were the Ganges, her 
bosom whitened by sandal showing like the temples of Airavata 
as he emerges from his bath ; through her reflection in their 
crest jewels she was as it were an embodiment of the king’s 
order, borne on the heads of obedient princes ; by the whiteness of 
her robe which vied with the swans, she resembled the autumn 
when they return home ; she conquered all the assembled kings 
as did the edge of Para9urama*s axe ; with the cane wand which 
she bore she resembled the Vindhya forest land, and she seemed 
none other than the guardian deity of the realm in human shape/ 
We would no doubt be unjust to Sana if we held that he did not 
realize the humorous side of these exaggerations, just as he no 
doubt saw the comic aspect of the putting of his tale into the 
mouth of a parrot, and enjoyed as much as we should his remark 
on Skandagupta : nrpavah^adirgham ndsavangam dadhanah^ 
‘ with a nose as long as his sovereign’s pedigree,’ which has been 
solemnly censured by unimaginative stolidity. Against this 
peaceful picture we may set the striking picture of the return 
of Bhandi with the news of Rajyavardhana’s death ; malinavd- 
sd ripngaragalyapuritena nikhdtabahulohakilahaparikararaksita- 
sphutaneneva hrdayena hrdayalagnaih svdmisatkriair iva gma- 
grubhih gucam samupadargayan durikrtavydydmagithilabhuja- 
dandadoldyamanamangalavalayaikagesdlamkrtir anddaropayuk- 
tatdmbulaviralardgena gokadahanadahyamdnasya hrdayasydhgd- 
reneva dirghanigvdsaveganirgatenddharena gnsyatd svdmiviraha^ 
vidhriajiviidparddhavailaksydd iva bdspavdripatalena pateneva 
prdvrtavadanah vigann iva, ‘ His raiment was besmirched and he 
manifested his grief by his heart which was filled with the foe’s 
darts and arrows, as though they were clamps of iron to restrain 
it from breaking, and his beard which layover the heart on which 
his master’s good deeds were engraved. On his long arm, re- 
laxed from lack of exercise, was as sole ornament his lucky 
bracelet. His parched lip, faintly coloured through neglect of 
use of betel, protruded under the stress of his long sighs like 
a coal from a heart afire with sorrow, and he covered his face 
with a mantle of tears as though in shame for the sin of living 
when his master had fallen.’ Yet Bana can be brief, though he 
must be pointed, as in Harsa’s oath ; gapdmy dryasyaiva pddapdn- 

BANA’S style 335 

suspargenayadipariganitair eva vasaraik sakalacdpacdpdadur^ 
lahtanarapaticaranaranarandyamdnanigaddm nirgauddm na 

karontt medtnlm tatas tanunapdtt pitasarpisi patahga iva pdtakl 
pdtaydmy dtmdnam, ‘ By the dust of my noble one’s feet I swear 
that, if I do not within a measured talc of days make the earth 
without a Gauda and cause it to resound with the fetters on the 
feet of kings made haughty by the elasticity of their bows, I will 
hurl myself, worthless as I shall be, like a moth on to a flame fed 
of oil.’ Even in the death scenes of Harsa’s mother and father 
epigram must prevail : Prabhakaravardhana thus addresses his 
darling boy . mahdsattvatd hi prathamam dvalantbanam lokasya 
pagcdd rdjajlvitd. sattvavatdm cdgranih sarvdtigayagritah kva 

bhavdn kva vaiklavyatnf^kulapradipd sitidivasakarasadrgatejasas 
ielaghukaranamiva. purusasihho 'siti cauryapatuprajnopabrhhita- 
pardkramasya nindeva. ksitir iyam taveti laksandkhydtacakra-^ 
vartipadasya punaruktani iva. grhyatdm grlr iti svayam evagriyd 
grhitasya viparitam iva, * Magnanimity is the mainstay of this 
world, next royal blood. How incompatible is weakness with 
thee who art the first of the magnanimous, endowed with every 
perfection ? Shall I call thee lamp of our line ? That were 
almost a making light of thee whose brilliance matcheth the sun. 
To call thee lion of men is as it were a censure to one whose 
prowess is manifested not alone in heroism but in keen intelli- 
gence. ’Twere tautology to say, ‘*Thc earth is thine”, when 
thou bearest the clear signs of imperial splendour to come. 
Twere contradiction to bid thee grasp the goddess fortune ‘when 
she already hath thee in her embrace,’ and so on until the poet 
grows weary, for there is no logical end to these elegancies. 
Rhythmical effects and alliterations abound and often are happy : 
d^t^atihataratharahkasd Raghund laghunaiva kdlendkdri kaku- 
bhdnt prasddanam, ‘ In a biief space with the irresistible onset of 
his chariot Raghu brought peace to the world. ^ 

Bana’s fondness of figures is obvious, and metaphors, similes, 
seeming incongruity, exemplification, Sahoktis, as in the descrip- 
tion of Rajya9ri as akuldin kegakaldpena maranopdyena ca, 
bewildered with dishevelled locks and as to the means of death,’ 
dagdhdm canddtapena vaidhavyena ca, ‘ burnt with the fierce heat 
and the pains of widowhood’, and others abound. Among his few 
verses is a fairly good example of lively fancy, Utpreksa ; 


jayaty Upendrah sa cakara dUrato: bibhitsayd yah k^analab- 

drfatva koparunayd ripor urah: svayam bhaydd bhinnam iv- 

‘ Supreme is that Upendra, who by his mere glance from afar 
which struck at once its mark with angry red, made the breast of 
his foe ruddy with gore as though in fear it had burst open pf its 
own accord.* A good instance of hyperbole, Ati9ayokti, is 
presented in his eulogy of his preceptor : 

namdmi Bharvof carandtnbujadvayam : safekkarair Maukha-- 
ribhih krtdrcanam 

samastasdmaniakintavedikd- : vitahkapUholluthitdrundhguli. 

* I revere the lotus feet of Bharvu, worshipped by the Maukhari 
princes with diadems on their heads, whose toes gleamed red as 
they moved on the lofty footstool formed by the crowns of all 
the feudatories of the realm.* 

The number of verses used by Bana is small, though less 
limited than in the case of Subandhu. Bana does not observe 
the rule laid down by Bhamaha^ that the Akhyayika should 
contain at the beginning of each Ucchvasa Vaktra and Apara- 
vaktra verses announcing the subject of the chapter. The first 
Ucchvasa of the Harsacarita has an introduction on poetry ; the 
others have two verses, but the form is either two Aryas or 
a ^loka and an Arya. In the body of the chapters we have an 
Aparavaktra in i ; three stanzas Vasantatilaka, Qardulavikridita 
and Aparavaktra in ii ; two pairs, Arya and Sragdhara in iii ; 
a pair of verses, Vaktra and Aparavaktra, and a detached Arya 
in iv ; a ^loka and an Aparavaktra in v ; and an Arya in vi ; 
the last two have no inserted verses. The Vaktra of Bana is 
not the ^loka as in the metrical textbooks, but a .sort of Qloka 
with a spondee at the close of the even lines. The Kddambari 
after its verse prelude is essentially in prose. 

^ i. 26, Nobel (^Indian Poetry ^ pp. 178, 187) argues that both Dan^in and 
Bh&maha cannot have known Bana^s work : as regards hhamaha this can hardly 
be true in respect of time, but he may have lived far away. In Rudrafa we have 
accounts of the KathS (xvi. ao-3) and Akhyiyika (xvi. 24-30) which obviously are 
based on Ba^a ; cf. S. K. D6, BSOS. iii. 514 f. 



I . The Romances 

B ANA has set a model which It was easy to admire, but 
infinitely hard to follow with any success, and in fact 
we have nothing later which can be set for a moment beside 
him. Criticism ^ of him was not specially intelligent ; he was 
classed with Qlabhattarika, one of the few poetesses of India 
who used Sanskrit, as a model of the Pancala style, in which 
sense and sound were of equal importance, an assertion in no 
sense true. He found an imitator in Dhanapala, son of Sarva- 
deva, and brother of ^obhana ; he lived under the patronage of 
Slyaka and Vakpati of Dhara, though Merutunga ^ places him 
also at Bhoja’s court and tells us a tale of his dispute with his 
family and final reconciliation to his brother. He wrote in 
A.D. 97^-3 the Prakrit lexicon, Paiyalacchl^ and, after becoming 
a Jain, the Rsabhapanedfika in fifty Prakrit stanzas. His romance 
is styled Tilakamanjari^ after the heroine, and it has clearly been 
his aim to seek to draw as many parallel pictures to those of the 
Kddambari in describing this lady’s love of Samaraketu. He 
recognizes his debt, and perhaps that is the best that can be 
said of him. 

Another Jain effort to rival the Kddavibarl is seen in the 
Gadyacintdmani^ of Odayadeva, alias Vadlbhasifiha, a lion to the 
elephants of counter disputants. He was a Digambara Jain, pupil 
of Puspasena, whom he lauds in the usual exaggerated style, and 
his work deals with the legend of Jivaka or Jivandhara, which is 
also the topic of the Jivandharacanipu, His imitation of Bana 
is flagrant, including an effort to improve on the advice given by 
the sage ^ukanasa to the young Candrapida. Other Jain 

^ Kane, Kadambart^ p. xxv. 

* Prabandhacintdmani^ pp. 60 ff. (trans. Tawncy). 

• Ed. KM. 85, 1903. Cf. Jacobi, GGA. 1905, p. 379. 

* Ed, Madras, 1902. Cf. Haltzscb, lA. xxxii 340; ZDMG. Ixvlii^ 697 f. 


Kathas hardly attempt, and certainly do not reach, the stage of 
comparison with the true romances.' 

2. The Campus 

The romances contain here and there a few stanzas but they 
are normally and effectively in prose, and the literary composi- 
tions styled Campus, a name of unknown sense, differ vitally 
from them in that they use prose or verse indifferently for the 
same purpose. In this Campus differ from other forms of litera- 
ture in which verse is mingled with prose; the verses in these 
cases are either gnomic, or they serve to summarize the context 
of the story, as do the title verses of the Pancat antra^ or occa- 
sionally they appear to lend greater effect to some point in the 
narrative as when a short speech is made in pointed form, or 
a specially important idea is thus underlined. But it was not 
surprising that the use of verse freely side by side with prose 
should occur, especially when works could be written in either 
indifferently, and we have in the Jdtakamald, on the one hand, 
and in the inscription of Harisena on the other, clear cases of 
something which may be deemed fairly like the CampQ, and 
Oldenberg^ has adduced analogous cases in the Jataka book. 
But it is only from a late period that we have works written in 
the full Kavya style in which the poet shows now his ability in 
prose and now in verses, without seeking to reserve verses for any 
special end. 

The oldest extant is probably the Damayantlkathd ^ or Nala- 
campu of Trivikrama Bhatta, whom we know as the author of 
the Nausari inscription of the Rastrakuta king India III in 
A.D. 915, and who is also mentioned as author of the Maddlasd- 
campu. The tale runs that his father Devaditya, a court Pandit, 
was absent from his post when a rival came forward to challenge 
him, with the result that the son aided by Sarasvati composed 
the Nalacampu, which was left unfinished because his father 
returned atid rendered his son’s action needless. The story is 

‘ On the fragmentary Avantisundari ascribed to Dandin— -wronely— see S. K. D^. 
IHQ.i,3iff.; iii.395ff. 

* GN. 1918, pp. 439 ff,; 1919, pp. 61 fif. 

Kd, NSP, 1885. He was of the ^andilya family and son of Nem&ditya (El. 
ix. a8). 

the CAMPOS 333 

elaborated with the usual defects of long sentences, consisting of 
epithets heaped on epithets in long compounds, with double 
meanings, alliterations and jingles complete. The author men- 
tions Bana, and himself is referred to in the Sarasvatikantha- 
bharana. His verses are no more than mediocre; there is the 
usual combination of simile with a double meaning in his critique 
of poets given in anthologies: 

apr ag albhapad any as d jananirdgaheta vah 

santy ckc bahuldldpdh kavayo bdlakd iva, 

* Some poets are like children ; their diction is as tottering as 
their feet, they disgust people (they cause delight to their 
mothers), they chatter much (they have many endearments)/ 
This is clearly frigid, and his elaborate stanzas are still less 

To a Jain of the same century, a contemporary of the Rastra- 
kuta Krsna and prot^g^ of his feudatory, a son of the Calukya 
Arikesarin II, we owe the much more important work, Yafas- 
tilaka} written in 959. Somadeva was a Pigambara Jain and he 
wrote, as did all Jains, with an eye to the salvation of mankind 
by means of the Jain faith, and in fact the last three sections of 
his book serve as a manual of lessons for laymen. The tale 
itself, however, is not at all dull. In the rich Yodheya country 
there was a city Rajapura ruled by Maridatta, a sensualist, who 
has decided on the advice of his family priest to offer to the 
goddess of the family, Candamari-devata, a pair of all living 
things, including human beings. He is ready to sacrifice when 
there come before him an ascetic pair, boy and girl, who have 
been induced to come to the place of .sacrifice ; at the sight of 
them the darkness passes away from his mind. At this point 
the author, with an awkward transition, explains their presence ; 
an ascetic, Sudatta, has just arrived at the outskirts of the town, 
and rejecting a garden for its encitements to love, and a burning 
place as needlessly repulsive, has taken up his abode on a small 
hill. In his train are two young people, the children of Mari- 
datta s own sister by Yafomati, son of king Ya9odhara, and the 
sage, knowing the future, sends them where he knows the royal 
guards will accost them and take them to the king for sacrifice. 

* Ed. KM. 70, 1901-3. Cf. Peterson, Rtport^ ii. pp. 33 flf. 


The king, however, treats them with honour, having bethought 
him that his niece and nephew were reported to have adopted 
the ascetic life, and questions them as to their history. In Agvasa 
ii the youth, who enjoys like his sister the rare gift of knowledge 
of past births, tells a curious tale. There was a king of Ujjain, 
YacoVtha,^ and his wife Candramati bore him a son, Ya^odhara, 
whom on the sight of his whitening hair the father placed on the 
throne, retiring to contemplation. The life of Ya 9 odhara is 
described, and the poet displays his knowledge of policy in con- 
versation between the king and a minister, in which are set out 
with legendary examples the fate of kings who choose bad 
ministers, and of kings who cast aside their faithful servants. 
Ya^odhara seems ideally happy, he delights in the Veda of the 
bow, but one night he finds that his wife leaves his side for a 
guilty intrigue. He meditates slaying her, but is deterred by the 
scandal, and his mother, who suspects the truth, seeing his sudden 
aversion to life, counsels him to perform a sacrifice including the 
slaughter of all kinds of animals. The king, however, will have 
nothing to do with sacrifices destructive of life, and there ensues 
a polemic between him and his motheronthe Jain faith, to which 
she realizes that he is tending. He argues, however, that offer- 
ings to the dead are absurd, and that crows are the real recipients 
of the bounty tendered, while the idea of water as purifying is 
ridiculed. A vast array of poetical authority is adduced by the 
king, who quotes almost all the great poets down to Raja^ekhara, 
and the queen, perhaps weaiied by his eloquence, compromises on 
a cock of flour. The wicked wife, however, sees her chance, 
insists on cooking the mixture, inserts poison and ends the mother 
and son alike (iii). In A9vasa iv we have the account of the fate 
of the mother, son, and wife in later births as the result of their 
crimes, the slaying even of an effigy of a cock being a sin. The 
wicked wife repeats in these rebirths her evil deed. At last, 
however, the cycle is complete, and the mother and son are re- 
born, with knowledge of the past as the twin children of Ya90- 
mati and the sister of Maridatta. Needless to say, the king is now 
induced (v) to take instruction from Sudatta, and in the end is 
converted along with the goddess and his people. 

* Hertel {JPdla und Gopdia^ pp. 8i ff.) summarizes the parallel works of Maoikya 
SOri and V&dirSja SOri. His Ya90gha (p. 9a) may be an error. 


While it can hardly be said that Somadeva complies with the 
principle laid down in such late works as the Sahityadarpana} 
that verse should be used for passages where sentiment is to be 
prominently expressed (sarasam vastu), since he often employs it 
without much impressment, it is certain that he is a poet of 
taste and good sense. His defence of critics against ignorance of 
poetry because they are not composers is : 

avakiapi svayaih lokah kdmam kdvyapank^akah 
rasapdkdnabhijho pi bhokid veiti na kim rasam} 

* Though people in general cannot express themselves, still 
they are good judges of poems. Though one has no skill in the 
art of producing sweet flavours, does not he who partakes of 
food know them perfectly well ? ' The king's commonsense is 
clear : 

sariisarovdridhivdpikdsu : nimajjanonmajjanamdtram eva 
punydya cet tarhi jalecardndih : svargah purd sydd itare^u 

‘ If descent into and emerging from river, lake, sea, or tank, 
were enough for salvation, then heaven would belong preemi- 
nently to those that dwell in the water, and secondarily only to 
other creatures.' The king's joy in the bow is well expressed : 

ydvanti bhuvi fasirdni tesdm ^resthataram dhanuh 
dkanusam gocare tdni na iesatn gocare dhanuh, 

‘Of all the weapons on earth the bow hath preeminence; it 
reacheth all, but none can attain it' The folly of human desire 
is repeatedly derided as in : 

tvam mandiradravinaddratanudvahddyais : trsndtamobhir anu- 
bandhibhir astabuddhih 

kligndsy aharnigam imam na tu citta vetsi: dandam Vamasya 
nip at an tarn akdnda eva, 

‘ 0 heart, thou dost torment thyself night and day, fettered by 
the darkness of desire for home, wealth, wife, and child, and dost 

‘ vi. 336 (333) reading padyair with Peterson, Report, ii, p. 34. There is a v. 1 . 
gadyair (Nobel, Indian Poetry, p. 168, who has overlooked Peterson's view). The 
sense is dubious ; Peterson’s view is that the definition of Kathl has this work or type 
in view. 


heed not that the rod of Death is falling even now all unexpected 
upon thy head/ 

Another Jain Campu known to us is the Jivandharacampu^ of 
Haricandra, which is based on the Uttarapurdna of Gunabhadra, 
and cannot be before a.d. 900. Whether this writer is the same 
as the Haricandra, the Digambara, who wrote the Dharma^ar- 
mdbhyudaya in twenty-one cantos, must remain uncertain, but 
that author copied both Magha and Vakpati, and thus there is 
no chronological difficulty in the suggestion. Both works are of 
the type of respectable dullness. 

Of Brahmanical Campus one, the Rdmdyanacampu^ is ascribed 
to Bhoja and Laksmana Bhatta ; there is a Bhdratacampu ^ by 
Ananta, in twelve Stabakas, of uncertain date. More definitely 
dated is the Udayasundarlkathd^ of Soddhala, a Valabha Kay- 
astha of Lata, who wrote r. A.D. 1000 under the patronage of king 
Mummuniraja of the Konkan. The model of the writer was the 
Harsacarita of Bana, and in imitation of him he gives not merely 
facts regarding his own lineage, but also some twenty-five stanzas 
on earlier poets. Of Bana he says : 

Bdnasya Harsacarite ni^itdm udlksya : faktim na ke }tra kavi- 

idstramadam tyajanti} 

* Who, seeing the sharp spear of Bana in his Harsacarita^ 
would not lose all delight in the arms of poetry?* There is, 
however, little sign of keen insight in his verse, and he merely 
utters, as a rule, some vague generality as in : 

hahhdvur anye pi Kumdraddsa - ; Bhdsddayo hanta kavindavas ie 
yadlyagobhih krtindm dravanti cetdhsi candropalanirmaldni, 

‘ Others, too, there were, Kumaradasa, Bh^a among them, 
moons of poetry through whose words the hearts of the makers, 
pure as the moon stone, are made to melt/ 

Late, but of special interest are the Svdhdsndhdkaracampu ^ of 
Narayana written in the seventeenth century, which describes 

* Ed. Tanjore, 1905. Cf. Hultzscb, lA. xxxv. 268. 

* Ed. NSP. 1907. The Navasdhasankacarita of Criharsa was a CampQ (A^rriV. 
xxii. 51). 

* Ed* Madras and Bomba^r, 1903. 

* Cf. KBvyammdhsd (GOS.), pp. xii f. ; ed. Gaekwad^s Or. Series^ 1930. 

’ Ed. KM. iv. 53 ff. ; Pischel, Die HofUchter des Laksmatiasena^ p. 39. 


the loves of Agni’s wife SvahS and the Moon in an idyllic 
manner which has been compared by Pischel with Homer’s 
picture ^ of the loves of Ares and Aphrodite, and the fankara^ 
cetovildsacampu^ written by a poet Qankara in honour of Ceta- 
sihha, whose name figures prominently in the transactions of 
Warren Hastings. Of these poems the former is admittedly a 
product of the art of extempore composition {dgukavitd), of which 
poets were inordinately and most foolishly proud. 

' Od. viil. a66 fF, 

* A|;frecht, BodL Catal.t 'u laf. For other texts iA. Madras Calal.^ xxi. 8180 ff. 





I. The Aims and T^'aining of the Poet 

I NDIAN poets and authors of works on poetics are in sub 
stantial agreement in their views of the poet^s purpose. 
The two great ends which appeal to them are the winning ol 
fame and the giving of pleasure ; even after the poet has gone 
to heaven, Bhamaha says, his body remains on the earth, pure 
and pleasant in the shape of his poem. No doubt other ends 
may be added ; Bhamaha himself mentions skill in regard to duty, 
practical life, love, and final release, and in the arts, but these are 
merely subsidiary matters, which can be gained by other means 
and are not therefore worthy of mention. Nor is instruction a 
necessary part of the aim of the poet, though it may be designed 
by him ; if this is his purpose he serves the purpose of the per- 
suasion of a lovely lady as opposed to the religious teachers 
who can command or the authors of scientific treatises who advise 
as friends. The pleasure of poetry accrues to the reader or. 
auditor ; when pressed, Indian theory docs not admit that the 
pleasure lies in the creation ; it is appreciated by the poet when, 
his work accomplished, he becomes the critic and in this capacity 
partakes of the sentiment which, relished, is the purest form of 
delight. We have here a parallel to the doctrine that it is the 
spectator, not the actor, who enjoys the sentiment of a drama. 

If, however, the poets desired their own fame, they were con- 
scious that they could not achieve it without patronage, and this 
was naturally to be sought primarily from the king, or failing 
him from some rich patron. The motives which should influence 
kings are expressed repeatedly and most effectively. The glory 
of ancient kings, Dandin assures us, mirrored in speech, endures 
after they have passed away ; the fruits of men s deeds, heaven 

* F. W. Thomas, Bhandarkar Comm. Vol.^ pp. 397 ff. Cf. above, chap, ii, % 5. 


See., may pass away, says Rudrata, but the poet can preserve 
their names for ever, and Kalhana, as we have seen, is most 
emphatic on this score.^ In Raja9ekhara we have the utmost 
insistence on the duty of the king, both in regard to poetry and 
the sciences ; he is to hold a formal durbar at which a vast array 
of poets and others are to be present and to examine the merit of 
the work presented for consideration, and he should reward poets 
according to their merits, following the example of Vasudeva, 
Satavahana, Qudraka, and Sahasanka. He is also to set up 
assemblies of Brahmins, Brahmasabhas, in the great cities of the 
realm in order to have tests applied to works presented there for 
approval, and we have given to us lists of the great poets Kali- 
dasa, Mentha, Amara, Rupa, Sura,^ Bharavi, Haricandra, Candra- 
gupta, acclaimed at Ujjain, while the writers of (J)astras, 
Upavarsa, Varsa, Panini, Pingala, Vyadi, Vararuci, and Patan- 
jali, were approved at Pataliputra. The Bhojaprabandha, though 
late and unhistorical, presents us with amusing pictures of such 
contests at court, and similar pictures are drawn in the Pra* 
bandhacintdmani, showing that Raja9ekhara*s ideal was not 
seldom realized, while a more formal picture of a Sabha is given 
by Mankha. Nor need we doubt that the relation between poet 
and king was happy for both ; if Bana’s wealth through the 
generosity of Harsa was famous, there is much truth in the 
anonymous poet who asks where are departed the loads of gold, 
the rutting elephants bestowed by the great king on Bana's 
merits, whereas his glory limned in the poet’s flowing verses will 
not pass away even at the aeon’s waning. 

Poets, of course, hoped that kings would be men of taste, but 
they remembered also that they sought a wider audience than 
kings, and that to be permanent in renown they must capture the 
fancy of the man of taste (rasika) whose expert judgement would 
test their works. Such a man is one who has deeply studied 
poetry so that there is no flaw in the mirror of his mind, and who 
can thus by reason of sympathy identify himself with the writer’s 
aim. Such a man will feel his heart stirred as by the drinking of 
much wine when he hears a true poem ; his hair will thrill, his head 
tremble, his cheeks redden, his eyes fill with tears, his voice falter 

^ Cf. Subkasitdvalif 150, 160, 167, 186. 

* Perhaps Arya Qura. 

Z % 

when he seeks to repeat the poet's words.^ And, as we have seen, 
these effects the true poet will experience in himself when he places 
himself in the position of a reader, and thus enjoys objectively 
and dispassionately the aesthetic pleasure of his own creations. 

But to produce such fine poetry is the result of many factors. 
There must be genius {praiibkd), there must be culture {vyut- 
patti)y there must be practice {abhydsa) ; Dandin, indeed, dis- 
agreeing with others like Bhamaha, insists that even in the 
absence of genius or fancy, much may be accomplished by dint 
of the other two, and all are agreed in demanding the combina- 
tion of all three for the highest poetry. The idea that from a 
simple uncultured soul there might well up a stream of poetry 
limpid and undefiled would certainly not have appealed to San- 
skrit poets, and the writers on poetics demand from them, and 
they take pains to show that they possess, a vast fund of useful 
information. Vamana gives us a quite clear list of what a poet 
requires to know. He must have worldly knowledge, under- 
stand what is possible or not ; he must be a master of grammar, 
must know the correct meanings of words as shown in diction- 
aries ; must study metrics ; must be expert in the arts, including 
singing, dancing, and painting; and study the Kama9astra, so as 
to be aware of the usages of love. Again, he must study politics, 
so as to know what is policy and the reverse, and to gather pro- 
priety of incident. These, however, are by no means all the 
duties of the poet. He has certain miscellaneous matters still to 
attend to: he must make himself acquainted with existing 
poetry, practise the writing of poems or at least parts of poems, 
show reverent obedience to masters who instruct him in the art 
of poetry, practise the choosing of the right word which when 
found could not possibly be changed without injury to the poem. 
His talent must be concentrated by attention to his aim, and for 
this purpose the early morning is the best, a doctrine which may 
be supported by the testimony of Kalidasa and Magha. 

Refinements on the doctrine of the sources of poetry yield 
little of value. Raja9ekhara ^ discusses the function of imagina- 
tion (praiibhd) as creative or discriminative, a distinction which 

* Subhasitdvali, 158, 163, 165. The importance of inspiration is recognized in 
Buddhist tradition, ATiguttara Nikdya^ ii. 250, where poets nre classed on the basis of 
reflection, study, subject-matter, or inspiration. * Kdvyamimahsd, iv. 


really deals with the distinction between the power to create and 
the power of appreciation. Kalidasa is cited as discriminating 
between the two capacities. Rajac^ekhara is also interesting for 
his picture of the poet, who is essentially to be a man of fashion 
and wealth. His house is to be well garnished, with rooms meet 
for each season, a shady garden with lakes, ponds, a pavilion, 
a bathing-place, a palanquin, swans, and Cakora birds. The 
poet must be pure in speech, mind, and body ; he is to have 
short-clipped nails, be anointed, wear a splendid but not gaudy 
garment, chew betel after meals. His retinue must match his 
elegance; the menials shall speak Apabhrah9a, the maids 
MagadhI, the ladies of the harem Sanskrit and Prakrit, his 
friends all languages ; his writer should have the same capacity 
and be himself a poet. Some even might go so far as to insist 
on special rules of speech in the household, like the Magadhan 
Qifunaga who prohibited the use of cerebrals save sibilants 
and ks in his hearing, while Kuvinda of Qurasena would not have 
harsh consonants used, Satavahana of Kuntala insisted on Prakrit 
only, Sahasanka of Ujjain demanded Sanskrit from his court. 
The poet’s day is neatly divided ; he is to rise early, pay devo- 
tion to Sarasvati, goddess of learning, study sciences and their 
accessories, then give a period to composition, take his midday 
meal, thereafter engage in a discussion on his poem or poetry 
in general {kdvyago^thl)^ later examine his poem with some 
intelligent friends, in the evening repeat his worship of the 
goddess, and in the early part of the night write out his final 
version. All this, of course, is somewhat tainted with artificiality, 
but everywhere in Raja^ekhara, as in his distinction of poets 
according to the part played by science in their works, we arc 
faced with the fact that poetry was essentially a learned pursuit, 
the product of much cultivation. 

Raja9ekhara devotes much attention to an issue which his pre- 
decessors less completely discuss, the issue of the borrowing of 
phrases and ideas by one poet from another. Anandavardhana ^ 
is not anxious for overmuch borrowing ; the province of poetry is 
unlimited, though for centuries hundreds of poets have been 
writing. There may be resemblances between the works of two 
inspired poets ; of such similarities we must disapprove those in 

^ iii. I a f. 


which we have such a relation as that of a thing and its image, 
or an object and a picture thereof, but similarity such as exists 
between two men is not to be condemned. Raja^ekhara ' gives 
us divergent views on the issue of borrowing phrases or part or 
even the whole of a stanza, and though he discriminates between 
mere stealing and appropriation his views turn out to be lax. 
He cites indeed the excellent maxim that while other thefts pass 
away by lapse of time the theft of words endures even to sons 
and grandsons, but only to cite his wife Avantisundarfs excuses 
for appropriation, whether in words or matter. Thus he may 
say, ‘ I have a reputation, he has none ; I enjoy a secure position, 
he is a climber ; this is inappropriate in him, appropriate in me, 
his words are like a tonic, mine like wine, that is, our styles are 
different ; he ignores specialities of dialect, I attend to them ; no 
one knows that he is the author ; the author lives a long way 
off ; the book he wrote is obsolete ; this is the work of a mere 
barbarian.* These excuses were evidently duly availed of by 
later writers in Sanskrit, and they are too well known in modern 
practice to render serious condemnation in point. Raja^ekhara's 
own view is stated in the doctrine that ‘ there is no poet that is 
not a thief, no merchant that does not cheat, but he flourishes 
without reproach who knows how to hide his theft. One poet is 
a creator, another an adapter, another a covercr up, another 
a collector. He who here sees something new in word, sense, 
phrase, and writes up something old, may be accounted a great 
poet.' As regards theft of matter Raja^ekhara propounds a doc- 
trine which attained acceptance, and is summed up by Hema- 
candra.* The relation of imaging is condemned, being defined 
as ‘ the case where the sense is entirely the same but there is a 
setting in other expressions. In the case of the copy the subject 
Is made to appear different by a moderate elaboration of particu- 
lars, and this is a superior form to the previous. Corporeal 
resemblance is the case where, with difference of subject, there is 
apprehension of identity because of great similarity ; even clever 
poets produce such works. In the form named * foreign city 
entrance’, there is identity in substance, but the garnishing is 
widely different and even excellent poets adopt this mode. There 

' Kdvyamimdhsdf xi ff. ; cf. Ksemenclra, Kavikanthdbharana, ii. i. 
* Kdvydnufdsana^ pp. 8fF. 


is, of course, another side to this process ; Bana distinctly con- 
demns in the preface to his Harsacarita the poet who modifies 
phrases and hides the signs of authorship, as a thief, worthy of 

The process of copying, of composing verses for practice in 
metre without much regard to sense, and the working up of 
commonplaces, resulted in a large number of poetical conventions 
being established, which the Kavyas repeat almost mechanically ; 
the Cakravaka bird is parted at night from its mate and aflfords 
a constant reminder of human suffering ; the Cakora is fabled to 
subsist on the moonbeams, and its eyes redden at the sight of 
poisoned food ; the Cataka drinks the waters of the clouds alone ; 
the Hansa discriminates milk in water ; fame and laughter alike 
r are white; affection is redness; darkness cart be handled; the 
mouth of envy is two-tongued and filled with poison, the toe- 
nails of the king are burnished by the crest jewels of the vassals 
who lie prostrate at his feet ; the day lotuses close their calyx 
eyes in the evening ; the A9oka blooms beneath the touch of the 
beloved’s foot, and a large number of motifs are rehandled by 
poet after poet. Raja9ekliara ^ deals fully with these poetic 
conventions, which he prosaically explains as really due to obser- 
vations made at different places and times from ours. Thus we * 
find the rule that lotuses always exist in rivers, swans only in 
water, every mountain has gold and jewels ; or, again, facts are 
ignored, as when the jasmine is denied the right to exist in spring, 
sandal trees are said to have neither flowers nor fruit, and A9okas 
denied fruit. Or, again, there are artificial restrictions on the 
existence of things ; dolphins exist only in the ocean, pearls only 
in Tamraparnl. He illustrates the same style of conventions for 
substances, actions, qualities, and gives us the characteristics of 
the reasons as they are established by the poets. There is also 
much repetition of wider ideas, and interesting collections have 
already been made of variant treatments of ideas in Hindu 
fiction : such motifs are the art of entering another’s body, the 
laugh and cry motifs talking birds, the act of truth, the Dohada 
or Graying of pregnant women, false ascetics and spurious nuns, 
the Joseph and Potiphar motif, the idea of avoiding fate, the 

^ Cf. Some9vara, Surathotsava^ i. 37, 39 . 

• Kavyamimahsd^ xiv ff. 


fable of the crow and the palm tree, change of sex, and many 
others important or trivial.^ 

Another fact of importance in the development of Sanskrit 
literary taste was the fondness for the composition of poetry ex 
tempore or at least on a given theme with the least possible 
delay. This device might easily lead to undue regard for a com- 
plete and ready command of conventions enabling the poet to 
turn out verses with the greatest possible speed. The praise be- 
stowed on the quick- writing poet ^ighrakavi ^ to us must seem 
exaggerated, but the existence of the feeling is clearly attested. 
Less reprehensible as an essay in poetic skill was the practice of 
Samasyapurana,® when a poet constructed a stanza usually on 
a single line given to him. Tradition ascribes proficiency in this 
amusement even to Kalid^a. 

2. The Achievement 

It is easy to see the defects in Sanskrit poetry and still easier 
to exaggerate them. The difficulty of the language is added to 
by the elaboration given to it by poets who were writing always 
for highly cultured audiences and who had no chance of winning 
reputation and wealth by anything that was commonplace or 
simple. The long compounds which are affected by some poets 
even in verse and which are de rtgle in poetic prose are some- 
times obscure ; they arc always a barrier to quick comprehension 
by all who are not deeply imbued with the spirit of the Kavya 
literature. The elaborate alliterations and assonances which had 
to the Indian ear a definite aesthetic relation to the sense con- 
veyed are less easy for us to appreciate, especially as the blend- 
ing of sound and sense has been less eagerly pursued and much 
less successfully attained by western poets, so that we are apt to 
dismiss as pedantic the careful rules of the writers on poetics 
who came to divide styles largely on the basis of sound effects. 

Bloomfield, JAOS. xxxvl. 54-89; PAPS. Ivi. 1-43; Fistschri/t IVindisch, 
pp. 349-01 ; Burlingame, JRAS. 1917, pp. 429-67; Bloomfield, JAOS. xl. 1-24; 
• WI-68; Brown, JAOS. xlvii. 3-24; AJP. xlvii. 205 n. 

Cf. NalacampA, p. 16 ; Some9varadeva’s Pra9a8ti, 114 (El. i. 21); GUc^winda, 

* /Cdmas&traf p. 33; Qdrhgadhara Paddhati xxxii ; Merutufiga and BalUlaaena 
give many examples; Aufrecht, ZDMG. xxvii. 51. 



Moreover, the love of double meanings, which is essential in 
Subandhu and Bana and much loved by many other poets, is 
perplexing, and demands from us an intellectual strain which was 
doubtless not exacted from the select coteries who admired the 
poems when they were first produced. Nor is it easy for us to 
appreciate the constant effort slightly to improve on phrases 
and ideas which have been given currency by an earlier poet, an 
attempt which is unquestionably apt to lead to forced uses of 
language and lack of simplicity. Still less of course can we 
appreciate those tricks in poetic form and grotesque experiments , 
in the use of but one or two letters to make up the consonants in 
a line which Bharavi and Magha, not to mention minor poets, 
were willing to carry out. Nor does the elaboration of the 
poetic vocabulary, based largely on the free use of poetical 
dictionaries, appeal to us, and the rich vjariety of conventional 
ornaments unquestionably soon palls. 

Apart from defects of style we miss in Sanskrit literature the 
revelation of personal character by the poets in their poems ; 
Sappho, Catullus, Lucretius, distant as they are from us, pro- 
duce an impression infinitely more vivid than does any Sanskrit 
poet. Those that have come down to us preserve far more of the 
calm of Vergil ; the writers on poetics appreciated to the full 
the generalizing power of poetry, its impersonal character, its 
duty of suggestion in lieu of expression, and their appreciation 
was due to the practice of the great poets. They live moreover 
in a world of tranquil calm, not in the sense that sorrow and 
suffering are unknown, but in the sense that there prevails 
a rational order in the world which is the outcome not of blind 
chance but of the actions of man in previous births. Discontent 
with the constitution of the universe, rebellion against its decrees, 
are incompatible with the serenity engendered by this recogni- 
tion by all the Brahmanical poets of the rationality of the world 
order. Hence we can trace no echo of social discontent ; the 
poets were courtiers who saw nothing whatever unsatisfactory in 
the life around them. Nor in the classical period do we find 
them much moved by patriotism ; they wrote, so far as we have 
them, in times when national feeling was not excited by any 
foreign attack, and the clashes between neighbouring kings 
appeared to them in the light of the normal occupation of the 

warrior class. Political liberty within the state was undreamed 
of ; the fiery passion which ennobles Lucan is impossible for an 
Indian poet. The Buddhist writers glorified their teacher and 
magnified his doctrine, but in the main they are too deeply 
affected by the Brahmanical spirit to move beyond the confines 
of emotion allowable. It is in (^antideva above all that we find 
a deep seriousness, which blends in the most curious and incon- 
sistent manner with a denial of the reality of the universe. 

The conventionality of the themes of the poets may be admitted, 
^and due regard had to the limit of their range and outlook, but 
the fact of the great merit of Sanskrit poetry remains un- 
questioned. At their best the poets had complete command of 
the ordinary emotions which appeal most deeply to the human 
heart ; they know to the full the nature of love, in youth and in ^ 
wedlock, of sorrow, of the joy of union and the pangs of separa- 
tion, of the utter hopelessness induced by the loss in death of the 
beloved, or its mitigation by the assurance of reunion in a life to 
come. Moreover, their love of nature is intimate and real ; 
whether because of their belief in transmigration or simply through 
natural sympathy, they look on life of all kinds with a kindly 
eye, and they share in the feelings of nature, as they assume it to 
share in the vicissitudes of man. Nor do they ignore the more 
manly virtues ; heroism, constancy, uprightness, self-sacrifice, all 
receive their meed of recognition in energetic portrayal. Humour 
comes naturally to many of them, and the wit of their parono- 
masias is ofteh unquestionable and strikingly effective. Their 
descriptive power is undeniable and applies equally to scenes 
from life and to cameos of nature. Their miniature-painting, 
illuminated by the brilliant condensation of style and set off by 
the effective and melodious metre, while the sounds are skilfully 
chosen to match the sense, often achieves perfection in its kind. 
But the ability of the authors is not limited to description ; they 
are capable of rapid and luminous narrative, and even if they 
smack sometimes of the Artha^aslra the speeches of their 
characters are lacking neither in force, vigour, nor logical power. 

It is not, of course, given to many poets to excel in epic, and 
we have knany fine lyric stanzas from poets- who failed to produce 
anything distinguished on a larger scale. The highest merit 
belongs also to the expression in verse of maxims on life ; deeply 


original they seldom are, but the power of giving impressive 
^utterance to the essential facts of human life belonged tb men 
like Bhartrhari in the highest degree, and> many others have 
recorded impressions with complete adequacy of language. It is 
in the romances of Subandhu and Bana that we feel most the 
serious defects of Sanskrit prose style, and even with these draw- 
backs B^a deserves his reputation both for the depth of his 
feeling of the nature of love and for the vigour and fire of his 
pictures of the court of Harsa, of the death of Prabhakaravar- 
dhana, and the martial preparations of the king. 

The merits of India in the fable and the fairy tale have never 
been ignored, and in addition to the interesting character of the 
imaginative production of India in these genres there must be set 
^o her credit the easy and elegant style of the original Panca- 
tantra and Somadeva*s skill in rapid yet pleasing and pointed 
narrative. History never succeeded in winning a real place in 
Indian literature, though panegyrics are often clever and valuable 
as sources of historical information, but Kalhana was not merely 
an interesting chronicler ; often he achieves true poetry, and for 
the period with which he was almost contemporary his work has 
all the interest possessed by Pharsalia, Widely different 

as were the two men by temperament, the studied elaboration of 
their style and the fine effects of which they are capable attest 
a real similarity of genius. 

It is natural to compare Sanskrit writers with the Greeks of 
the Alexandrian age or the post- Augustan Latin poets, and 
there is no doubt some justice in the parallels drawn between the 
literatures. They are essentially the outcome of study and of 
the deliberate and conscious use of older models.' But it would 
be unjust to suggest for a moment that the Sanskrit poets were 
in general only on the level of the Alexandrians or of Statius. 
If we allow this to be true of Magha, it could hardly be asserted 
of BhEravi, and Kalidasa merits comparison with all but the 
greatest of poets, superior by far to men as able as Ovid and 

* For the Roman practice of recitation and its* effect on literature and French and 
Other parallels see Mayor, i. *73 ff.; Friedlander, Sittengesch*^ iii. 601 ; 

Rohde, pp, 303 ff. ; Heilland in Haskinses Lucan, xxzivf., 

Ixiii ff. H. E. Butler Augustan Poetry), and U. von Wilamovritz-Moellendorff 
{Hellenistische Dichtung in der Zeit des Kallimachos) deal adequately with these 
periods. Cf. Butcher, Greek Genius, pp. 345 ff. 

Propertius,' Of English writers Tennyson has much in common 
with him in calmness of outlook and in delicacy of beauty of 
phrasC) coupled with restraint and balance, but Tennyson lacked 
entirely the dramatic talent which is evinced so remarkably in 
the ^akuntald.^ 

The similarities, however, between the Alexandrians, the 
Flavians, and the lesser masters of the Kavya are as interesting 
as they are natural. Encyclopaedic learning is common to all 
three; Apollonios does his best to weary us of the Argonautika 
by his intempestive geographical dissertations, and Lucan, despite 
his youth, loses no opportunity of showing his mastery ^ of the 
Roman counterpart of the Indian Kalas. The subject-matter is, 
on the whole, sacrificed to the form ; threadbare legends, descrip- 
tions of scenery, and commonplace reflections are crowded in 
without regard to appropriateness ; Magha is no greater a sinner 
than Apollonios or Lucan, and Valerius Flaccus and Statius are 
infinitely worse than he. Point, antithesis, and metaphor became 
essential ; it was demanded of the Roman poets that they should 
like the prose authors adorn their writings with sententiae, lumina 
orationis\ success was often achieved in this genre. There is 
a remarkable similarity between the average stanza of a Kavya 
and the style of post- Augustan poetry. ‘ Almost every group*, 
writes Merivale,^ ‘ of three or four lines in Statius constitutes in 
itself an idea, perhaps a conceit, a play of thought or of words ; 
it fastens itself like a burr upon the memory : such is the distinct- 
ness of his vision, such the elaborate accuracy of his touch. The 
epigram is the crowning result of this elaborate terseness of 
diction, and this lucid perception of the end in view. The verses 
of Martial are the quintessence of the Flavian poetry.* This 
holds good no less of Kallimachos and the Greek epigrammatists, 
who come nearest to achieving similar effects to Sanskrit poets. 
Latin prose felt the effects of poetry ; it became poetical in con- 
struction, vocabulary, and ornaments. Old and obsolete words 
were revived, new words invented or existing terms given new 

^ For an eloquent defence of Propertius, see Postgate’s cd. pp. Ivii ff. He ap- 
proaches more closely to the complexity of Indian poetry than does Ovid’s pellucid 
simplicity. Cf. also Sellar, Horace and the Elegiac Poets (189a). 

* Matthew Arnold’s polish is no compensation for his lack of force. 

^ Heitland in Haskins’s Lucan, pp. li ff. 

♦ Pomans under the Empire, chap. Ixiv, 


senses, and bold metaphorical transfers of meaning were affected,^ 
all phenomena which occur freely in the ornate prose of the 
Sanskrit romances. As we have seen, Subandhu shows traces of 
the appropriation of verses for his work, and Tacitus himself is 
full of reminiscences of Vergil ; Kalhana in his turn freely adapts 
to poetry the happier turns of Bana^s prose.* In prose and poetry 
alike we find in the silver age of Latin literature the love of 
strained expression and involved constructions and a search after 
metaphorical expression which is often artificial ; Lucan, Statius, 
and Valerius Flaccus offer abundant examples of unsuccessful 
similes which make the Sanskrit poetaster’s ^ comparison of an 
orange with the freshly shaved chin of a drunken Hun quite 

But Sanskrit poets had advantages denied to some of the 
Alexandrians and post-Augustans. Their outlook on religion 
was one which it is perhaps difficult for us to appreciate, but it 
accepted a reality in the tales of the gods such as Visnu or Qiva 
which was obviously not felt by Kallimachos in his playful treat- 
ment of the loves of the deities, or by Apollonios in his revival 
of the Homeric outlook long after it had ceased to have any 
reality, still less by Lucan, Statius, or Valerius Flaccus, to whom 
the gods were no more than machinery sanctioned by Vergilian 
usage. The Sanskrit poet might regard the gods as ultimately 
real only in a secondary sense, but he had no difficulty in treat- 
ing them as something more than idle abstractions. Again, these 
poets had a deep appreciation of nature and feeling for its 
beauties which is rare in classical poets of Greece or Rome ; it is 
more akin to the spirit of Theokritos, but, unlike that author, 
Indian poets expressed not a somewhat artificial appreciation of 
country scenes as they attracted a poet used to town life, but 
a natural affection which is not really disguised by their placid 
acceptance of a large number of purely poetic conventions in their 
descriptions. It may become tedious to find the themes of the 
seasons, the dawn, the rising and setting of the moon, and kindred 
topics so often dealt with in the Kavya, but taken each by itself 

* Seneca, cxiv, § 10. 

* Stein, Rdjatarahgini^ i. 133; Thomas, WZKM. xii. 33; JRAS. 1899, p. 485. 

® Sdhityadarpana^ 622. Pindar’s elaborate similes, bold metaphors, and effective 
compounds (cf. Gildersleeve, Pindar^ pp. xl ff.) offer an interesting parallel to the 
best Indian Kavya. 

these pictures are often accomplished works of art with which 
Greek and Roman poets have nothing strictly comparable in 
finish or merit. Nor in their appreciation of love in all its phases^ 
have the Sanskrit poets any equal among the Alexandrians save^. 
Apollonios in his splendid picture of Medea, while the post- 
Augustans cannot vie with him despite the real ability of Statius. 
There is, moreover, a deep gulf between the reticence of Greek 
and Roman alike in the treatment of love and the frankness of 
the poet of India; the Ars Amatoria of Ovid aided to secure 
his permanent exile, ^ and the Flavians show no signs of its 
influence, while Sanskrit poets would have been discredited if 
they had not been skilled in the topics of the Kamagastra, and’ 
been able to depict beauty of form and the delights of dalliance. 
In this sense they are far more akin to the spirit of romance thar/ 
are the Greeks or their Roman followers. Indian poets also have 
a happier outlook on life than the disillusioned Alexandrians or 
the somewhat depressed post-Augustans ; ^ they lived in a simpler 
world, were not vexed by political problems or memories of lost 
liberty, and were parts of a social system and believers in a 
scheme of life which, if incapable of producing the magnificence 
of Vergils vision of the world to come, at least offered something 
more exhilarating than the systems of Epicureanism or Stoicism. 

Moreover, the Sanskrit poets had command of a language 
capable of finer sound effects than even Greek at its best ; they 
could successfully manage metres of great complexity but re- ^ 
markable beauty, and they were conscious experts in the task of 
matching sound to sense, an art practised indeed by Greek and 
Roman poets alike, but with far less adequate means and with 
much less subtlety. Their use of alliteration is often overdone, 
but they resemble Vergil in their power to make it yield effective 
results, an art in which his followers and notably Lucan were 
markedly deficient. Their love of metaphor and simile doubtless 
led them at times to commit faults of taste and to a display of 
erudition rather than of judgement ; but often they show a rich- 
ness of fancy and power of happy phraseology which is not 

^ Tcuffcl-Schwabe, Rom. Lit.^ § 347. The deplorable taste of i. 289(1. cannot be 
excelled in India. Characteristically Indian are e.g. A mores ^ i. 5 ; ii. 15. 

* All the greater classical poets have a vein of sadness ; cf. Tyrrell, Latin Poetry ^ > 
pp. 159(1. j Butcher, Greek Genius ^ pp. 133 (f. 


paralleled either in Greek or Latin poetry. Moreover, though 
we may easily find their paronomasias * tedious, there is no doubt 
that they are frequently rightly called models of twofold appro- 
priateness, and the free employment of figures of speech is often 
superior to the somewhat rhetorical manner which was introduced 
into Latin poetry by the practice of declamation in the oratorical 
schools, which Juvenal so forcibly derides. 

> English lends itself only to comic effects, but Greek •md Utin authors alike use 
this device with senous efforts at beauty ; cf. Cope. Aristotle's Rhetoric, p. 330, n. i. 



I. The Fables and Mdrchen of Greece and India 

T he obvious parallelisms between Indian and Greek fairy 
tales and fables have never been ignored, and have 
evoked lively controversies. Wagener^ held that Greece was 
the recipient, but both Weber * and Benfey ® came to the con- 
clusion that the Indian fables were borrowed from Greece, and 
for this view there could be adduced the question of chrono- 
logy ; the Greek fable is clearly in existence in the time of 
Hesiod, is hinted at in Homer, appears definitely in Archilochos 
and Simonides, and is developed into an important branch of 
literature, though the actual date of our collections is less certain. 
Herodotos, however, knew of Aisopos as a fable-teller, and 
Babrios (c, A.D. aoo) and Phaedrus (c. A.D. 20), if themselves late, 
drew from earlier sources. Benfey complicated the position by 
holding that fairy tales were normally Indian in origin, thus 
‘establishing a dualism which was difficult to defend. Keller^ 
contended for the priority of India, and this view has recently 
been revived and insisted upon.® As a chronological considera- 
tion stress has been laid on the monumental evidence in India, 
especially at Bharhut of the third or second century B.C., for the 
existence of beast fables, and some would accept the Jataka 
stories as already existing in the fourth or fifth centuries B.C., 
although this is manifestly dubious. Various criteria have been 
imagined by which to decide priority ; Weber preferred the test 
of simplicity, naturalness, or narvetd, Benfey thought that incom- 
pleteness was often a sign of greater age, while Keller laid stress 
on the doctrine of logical sequence and conformity to the habits 

^ I.€s Apologius de I' Me et Us Apologues de la Grice (1854). 

* IS. iii. 327-73 ; SBA. 1890, p. 916. 

* Trans, of PaHccUantra^ I. xff. 

Jahrbucher f. klass, Phil.y iv. 309-418. 

® e. g. by Hertcl, Cosquin, H. LQders {Buddh, Mdrchen^ p. xiii\ Cf. G. d’AlvielU, 
Ce que VInde doit h la Grice (1897), PP* *3^ 

of animals as revealed in nature. Thus he developed the argu- 
ment that the fact of the jackal following the lion to partake of 
the remains of his kill is true to nature, and easily suggests to the 
early fabulist the conception of making him minister to the lion 
as king of beasts, whence, as the minister must according to 
Indian tradition be a miracle of cunning, the jackal is thus 
reputed ; in Greece where the fox appears in the role of the 
jackal, his position is unexplained, for he is not in reality a very 
cunning animal. Unhappily this ignores, apart from the fact that 
it is fancy, not fact, that creates a world of intelligent beasts, the 
possibility that the fable had its origin neither in India nor in 
Greece, but was a product of lands intermediate between these 
countries. Weber justly contended that, if the relation of lion 
^ and jackal came thence to Greece, it would have to be changed to 
suit Greek conditions, while, if it later reached India from Greece, 
it would have been necessary there to reinstate the jackal. Or, 
more naturally, it may be held that the fable reached both west 
and east from the common source in the early fables connected 
with the name of Aisopos. We cannot ignore the possibility of 
Egypt having played a part in the genesis and transmission of 
fables, and Diels ^ has with special reference to Kallimachos 
claimed for “Lydia a substantial share in the work of diffusion. 
Hertel,^ ag<iin, has insisted that the idea of making use of fables 
to given instruction in politics is essentially Indian, and on the 
strength of it has claimed for India originality in respect of the 
best Greek fables ; but the assertion is as little capable of proof 
as the claim that Greece excels in witty and pointed fables which 
in India have often suffered watering down at the hands of 
Buddhist and other preachers. 

Nor in any account can we omit to recognize the fact that in 
Marchen at least we may have old myths and that something 
must be allowed, as Grimm demanded, for the old common 
possession of the Indo-European people. In the tales of 
Herakles, Thorr, and Indra we have certainly some of this old 
mythology. More speculative is Kern’s ^ ingenious comparison 
of the ape king, who in a Jataka makes himself a bridge for his 
following over the Ganges, and a similar exploit of the Irish king 

' Int, Wochenschrifi^ iv. 995. * ZDMG. Ixii. 113. 

* Gurupujdkaumudtf 
1149 A a 

354 the west and INDIAN LITERATURE 

Bran, with which he suggests that the function of the Roman 
pontifex may be connected. We have accordingly a great field 
of possibilities ; borrowing of India from Greece, of Greece from 
India, of both from a common source in Egypt or Asia Minor 
and Syria ; common inheritance from Indo-European times, or 
from even further back if it is deemed worth while seeking to 
penetrate further into the past; and independent development 
due to the similar constitution of the human mind. In the face 
of these possibilities it will be found increasingly difficult to reach 
any clear decision in any particular case, while any general con- 
clusion is absolutely out of the question. It must further be 
remembered that there must be admitted movements to and fro ; 
a good story may be invented in Greece, pass to India, and 
return to Greece ; Pausanias ^ already tells us before i8o A.D. oL 
the snake who protected a child but was taken for its murderer 
and killed ; it is difficult not to see in this the origin ofthe 
touching tale of the Brahmin who slays the ichneumon which had 
killed the snake attacking its master's child, a legend which is 
famous in the form of Llewelyn and Gclert, a dog replacing the 
mongoose, and which can be traced widely over Europe. 

In many cases chronology is decisive against Indian influence 
on Greece being plausible. Thus a Corinthian vase * shows us 
the existence of the fable of the fox and the raven in the sixth 
century B.C., while in India we have the story of the fox and the 
crow only in the Jataka and, therefore, of uncertain date. A 
painting by Polygnotos in the Lcsche at Delphi of Oknos and 
his ass affords better evidence than the Jataka tale of the rope- 
maker and the female jackal who undoes his work unperceived, 
both accusations of man’s industry and woman’s waste.® Demo- 
kritos knew the story of the eagle who dropped the tortoise, 
which in India appears as the swans who let the same animal fall. 
The goat which swallowed a razor was the subject of a Greek 
proverb,^ and occurs in a Jataka. The mice which eat iron in the 
Paheatantra and a Jataka are known already to Seneca and 
Herondas. The fable related of Daidalos in Sophokles* Kami- 

' 33 - 9* Cf. Bloomfield, JAOS. xxxvi. 63 ff. 

* PhilohguSy Ixxiv. 470. On classical fables, cf. Hausrath, Pauly- Wisaown, Real- 
tncycLy vi. i724ff. ; Achiqar und Aiop (19x8); G. Thiele, Nnu Jahrbucher f d, 
klass, AltertufHy xxi. 377 flf. 

^ Pausanias, x. 39. 

* ZDMG. xlvii. 89 ff. ; Ixvi. 338. 


fo*- I"dia in a late 

I I r account in Herodotos and Sophokles 

alike of a sisters preference for a brother’s life to that of a hus- 
band. since she cannot have another brother, need certainly not 
traced to a Jataka, and the attempt to derive the delightful 
story of how Hippokleides lost his marriage by reason of his 
dance from the similar tale of the peacock in the ^Lka is 
curiously absurd. In these cases we have to do with ideas which 

TndlH "n "’en's minds inde- 

pendently. Nor does there seem any conclusive ground for 

country In the version in Greece the ass itself assumes a lion’s 
skin and is betrayed by the wind blowing it away; the Indian 
versions are more prosaic; the ass is given a skin by its owner 
to aUow It to steal corn, and betrays itself by its cry. 

f fi, priority constantly occurs ; 2 the story 

of the jackal which revealed its nature by its cry has a parallel in 
Phaedrus ; so has the story of the ungrateful snake which bit its 
rescuer ; the panther treats the goat as does the wolf the lamb in 
haedrus ; the gods of Phaedrus who wish to drink up the 
stream have their parallel in the crows which would drain dry 
the sea ; the w<?A/of the bald-headed man and the fly, used with 
3'-*' Phaedrus, is turned to tragedy in the Jataka ; we 

find in Phaedrus the old tale of the eagle and the tortoise, and in 
ndia the swans in place of the eagle. The fable of the fox 
w ich comi^ls the eagle to restore its young, which Archilochos 
knew, has been paralleled with a tale in the Pancataulra of a. 
crow and a snake, but the discrepancies are too great; nor is the 
parallel of the wolf, which a crane helps, in Phaedrus to the tale 

of the hon and the woodpecker sufficiently close to prove priorkv 
on either side. ^ 

Much that has been adduced definitely in favour of Greek 
priority ,s extremely dubious. The Trojan horse, however, is 
rnuch older than the capture by an elephant of wood filled with 
soldiers of Udayana, but the fHo^i/ is traced also in Egypt, ‘ and 

* Zachariae, A 7 . Schrifien, pp. 108 ff. 

* GQnter, Buddha, pp. ja ff. 

^ V. d. Leyen, Archivf. d. Stud, d, mueren Sprachen^ cxv. 6. 

A a 2 


cannot be deemed too recondite to be original in India. The 
love of Phaidra for Hippolytos is striking, but the motif found 
in the Jataka ^ and belongs to human nature. The device of con- 
soling the living for the dead by striking means is ascribed to 
Demokritos, is found in Lukianos, in Julian's letters, and in 
pseudo-Kallisthenes, but it also is attested by the Chinese version 
of the Tripitaka, which bids the mourner bring fire from a house 
where none has died. Androclus' grateful lion has an Indian 
parallel in the grateful elephant ; Milo’s death reminds us of the 
foolish ape in the Pancatantra ; India knows of paintings which 
deceive by likeness to life, as Parrhasios deceived even Zeuxis 
by his painted curtain. The tale of how an adulteress clears her- 
self by a cunningly devised oath is early enough in India to have 
been deemed the source of Isolde’s falsehood,^ but we have the i 
same idea in the oath of Ovid’s Mestra.^ The effort to find in 
X\iQtx2iQi Physiologos \.hQ proof of Indian influence on the western 
legend of the unicorn or the source of Caesar’s tale of the elks of 
the Black Forest, which cannot rise if once they fall to the 
ground, is clearly a failure. From India may be borrowed the 
tale of the Charadrios, a bird which bears jaundice to the sun, 
but, as this idea is extremely early in India, it may be an ancient 
Indo-European belief. 

In some cases more certainty of borrowing exists. The com- 
plex legend of Rhampsinitos in Herodotos, which he learned in 
appears before A.D. 300 in India and can hardly be other 
than a borrowing there.^ But instances of this sort are rare and 
the issue of priority between India and Greece normally remains 
open. Little can be gained from general considerations such as 
the fact of belief in transmigration in India, the fondness of the 
Indian mind for romance, or the number of idle wanderers, 
religious men of various kinds, who went about India and per- 
haps beyond, telling and hearing tales. There seems to be no 
necessary connexion between beast fables and the belief in trans- 
migration, for such fables exist among many peoples and repre- 
sent a period when beast and human lives were not regarded as 

' Bloomfield, TAPA. liv. 145 ff. 

^ J. J. Meyer, Isoldes Gottesurteil ^ pp. aiSff. 

* Rohde, Griech, Roman ^ p. 515. 

< Fraxer, Pausanias.s. 176(1.; G. Paris, 151 ff., 267 ff . ; Huber, BEFEO. 
iv. 701 f. ; Niebuhr, OLZ. 1914, p. 106. 


SO distinct as they are in modern times ; love of tales is recorded 
of others as of the people of Miletos, and wanderers of all kinds 
were evidently as common in the ancient as in the modern world. 
What presents much greater certainty is the actual translation of 
important Indian books and the transmission thus of much of 
fable and fairy tale to western lands, but that cannot be proved 
for an early date. It is difficult to believe we must^ go to India 
for the idea of the gratitude of animals when we know that 
Agatharchos, a contemporary of Alexander the Great, told the 
tale of the dolphin, which rewarded kindness by saving during a 
shipwreck the life of the youth who bought him from some fisher- 
men. On the other hand, it is not necessary to find in the 
Aisopian fable of the fox which ate the heart of the deer killed 
by the sick lion and then denied that the beast had had a heart, 
the prototype of the jackal who ate the heart and ears of the ass 
and declared it never had them or it would not have been killed. 

2. The Translations of the Paheatantra 

The enterprise of the physician Burzoe, who under Chosrau 
Anosharwan (531-79) translated a version of the Pancatantra 
into Pahlavi, was a work of the utmost importance for the Indian 
fable literature,^ It is lost, but by A.D. 570 it was rendered by 
one Bud into Syriac, and about 750 an Arabic version was made 
by Abdallah ibn al-Moqaffa from which the western versions are 
derived. The Syriac version is preserved in one manuscript and 
is imperfect, the Arabic is clearly expanded from the original, 
which seems to have consisted of five books corresponding to the 
Pancatantra^ five or eiglit other books taken from a different 
source ^ — whether or not the fusion was accomplished in India 
before Burzoe — and two books regarding his mission and his 
introduction. Of these fifteen chapters the Syriac has only ten, 

^ Cosquin, £tmiesfolkloriques^ p. 31. 

* Hertel, Das PaHcatantra (.1914) ; ZDMG. Ixxii. 65 ff. ; Ixxiv. 95 ff. ; Ixxv. 139 flf. 

• From the Mahabharata, xii. 138. 13 ff. ; 139. 47 ff. ; 1 1 *■ 3 ff., three arc taken ; 
one is Buddhist (cf. A, Schiefner, Bkaratae Responsa (1875) in Tibetan; Zachariae, 
KL Schriftetty pp. 49 ff.) ; one the tale of the man in the well (see Noldcke, Burtots 
EinUitung zu dtm Buche Kaltla wa Dimnay 1913); one of the lion and jackal also 
probably Buddhist ; one of grateful beasts and ungrateful men ; one of four friends, 
perhaps Buddhist ; one of the mouse king and his minister is Indian in spirit. 


while the Arabic has twenty-two in all. The title of the work 
was clearly derived from Karataka and Damanaka, the two jackals 
who figure in the first book of the Pancatantra^vdiX\2ir\isQ{ whose 
names occur regularly as the title of the translations, while the 
character of the work was somewhat altered by the inclusion of 
tales which were distinctly of a moral character. 

From the Arabic version came in the tenth or eleventh century 
a fresh Syriac translation, and at the close of the eleventh cen- 
tury the Greek version of Simeon, son of Seth, which in its turn 
produced an Italian version of 1583 by Giulio Nuti, two Latin 
and one German versions, and various Slav reproductions. But 
more importance attaches to the Hebrew version of the Rabbi 
Joel {c. iico), whence was made by John of Capua between 1263 
and 1 278 the Liber Kelilae et Dimnae, Directorinm vitae humaiiae^ 
of which two printed editions appeared in 1480. From a manu- 
script was made by Anthonius von Pforr the German translation, 
Das buck der hyspel der alien zvysen^ which was repeatedly 
printed from 1483 onwards, and in addition to influencing deeply 
German literature was rendered into Danish, Icelandic, and 
Dutch. A Spanish version appeared in J493, based on it, an 
Italian by Agnolo Firenzuola in 1546 which was translated into 
French in 1556, while a direct Italian version, that of A. Doni, 
came out in two parts in 1552, and the first part was translated 
into English by Sir Thomas North as The Morall Philosophie of 
Doni in 1 570. 

Another important translation was that made from the Arabic 
in 1142 or 1121 by Abu ’ 1 -Maali Nasrallah ibn Muhammed ibn 
*Abd al-Hamid, for it produced the Persian Anwdri Suhaili by 
Husain ibn 'Ali al-Wah’z between 1470 and 1505, whence came 
numerous translations into eastern languages, and which became 
known in France in 1644 by the translation by David Sahid and 
Gaulmin ; this, again, was soon rendered into English, German, 
and Swedish. Moreover, the Persian original was rendered into 
Turkish by *Ali bin Salih between 1512 and 1520, and it was 
rendered into French by Galland and Cardonne, the French then 
being translated into German, Dutch, Hungarian, and even Malay. 

Other renderings from the Arabic wdl-e less fertile ; the Hebrew 
version of Jacob ben Eleazer in the thirteenth century is only in 
part preserved, the old Spanish version {c, 1251) and John of 


Capua’s work afforded material to Raimundus de Biterris who 
p prepared his Liber de Dina et Kalita for Johanna of Navarre. 
The Italian Baldo in the early twelfth century used some version 
for his Nevus Esopus. La Fontaine in the second edition of his 
Fables in 1678 expressly states that the greater part of his new 
matter is derived from the Indian sage Pilpay, in whose name we 
may recognize the Sanskrit Vidyapati, lord of learning. 

3. The Qukasaptati 

Another case of translation which is certain is that of the 
Qukasaptati^ whose existence, as we have seen, is attested by 
Hemacandra in the twelfth century when he cites an episode, 
.^tiot in our texts, in which the parrot is caught by a cat, proving 
probably that variant recensions were already in existence. By 
the beginning of the fourteenth century there already was extant 
a rude Persian version which displeased the refined taste of 
Nachshabi, a contemporary of Hafiz and Sa‘di, who in 1329-30 
produced the Tutlnameh} which a hundred years later was 
rendered into Turkish and in the eighteenth century evoked a 
fresh version by Kadiri. The Tutinameh rejected part of its 
original as unsuitable, substituting other tales partly from the 
Vetdlapancaviiifatikd. From the Persian version many tales 
passed to western Europe via Asia, and one of the talcs was 
made famous by Gottfried's Tristan und Isolde, in which occurs 
the account of the ordeal which was used to deceive by proving 
Isolde's innocence. In India the episode is old, for it occurs in 
a Chinese fifth-century version of an Indian tale and in a confused 
form is extant in the Jataka book.* 

4, Other Cases of Contact between East and West 

Tales which cannot be traced thus definitely to Indian sources 
may yet readily be assumed to have reached the west from India 
in view of these proved facts. Nor is it difficult to imagine modes 
of transmission^; apart from literature, tales pass easily enough 

‘ Pertsch, ZDMG. xxi. 505-21. The Persian of Kadiii was translated by C. J. L. 
Iken (1822), the Turkish by G. Rosen (1858). 

* Chavannes, Cinq cents contes, i. no. 1 16 ; Jataka, 62 ; Zachariae, Kleine Schr i/ten, 
pp. 28a f. ; J. J. Meyer, Isoldes Gottesurieil pp. 74 fi. 

• For the period to A. D. 600 see Kennedy, JR AS. 1917, pp. 2 26fr. 

36 o the west and INDIAN LITERATURE 

from mouth to mouth» and the Crusades resulted in prolonged 
intercourse between Christians and Mahomedans. Then the Arab 
rule in Spain served to mediate between the civilizations of west 
and east, and the Jews in their turn played an important part as 
intermediaries. The influence on the Mongols in this regard has 
been exaggerated by Benfey, but doubtless under-estimated by 
Cosquin.^ There is no reason to doubt that the Gipsies * helped 
to spread tales, as their Indian origin is well established. Byzan- 
tine literature,® again^ must have been a factor in the literary 
diffusion of stories. But it would be absurd to assume that the 
borrowing was all from one side, as Benfey was inclined to do 
as regards fairytales. Cosquin has, indeed, done much to defend 
this thesis by his efforts to prove that the better-motived tales 
are often Indian ; Lang, with various qualifications, and B^dier 
have insisted instead on the independent generation of tales in 
different places, while Antti Aarne has endeavoured to work on 
tne basis that every country may produce tales, but these tales 
wander far and wide, so that the end of research is to establish 
motifs which belong to one country or another ; thus a group of 
ideas centring in a magic ring is Indian in origin, another dealing 
with three magic substances is British and French, another 
centring in a magic bird is Persian. In most cases it may be 
frankly admitted that it is extremely difficult to achieve any 
satisfactory result. 

A certain degree of assurance may be felt regarding the 
familiar tale of Sinbad. The Arabian historian Masudi, who died 
in 956, expressly ascribes to the Kitdb el Sindbdd an Indian 
origin ; this work corresponds to the Persian Sindibadndmeh^ 
the Syriac Sindbatty the Arabic ‘ Seven Viziers* which is found 
in .manuscripts of the Arabian Nights^ the Hebrew Sandabar^ 
the Greek Syntipas^ and a mass of European tales. The plan 
of the work is taken from the Pancatantra \ a king entrusts his 
son to a wise man who undertakes to teach him wisdom in six 
months ; the Indian motif oi telling tales to save the life of some 
one, here a prince condemned to death, is found, and the stories 

' Cosquin, ^tudts folkloriqtus ^ pp. 497 ff. 

» Wlislocki, ZDMG. xli. 448 ff. ; xUi. 113 ff. 

® E. Kuhn, Bytant. Zeiischrtfty iv. 241. 

* H. Warren, Htt indische ori/^neel van den Griekschen Syntipas ; Hcrtel, ZDMG. 
Ixxlv. 4586*. 


have usually Indian parallels ; that of the ichneumon is taken 
from the Pancatantra, and the others are often specimens of 
women’s tricks to cover their infidelities, which are common in 
India, forming as it were a supplement of the Pahcaiantra. The 
Greek Syntipas contains various passages which can only be read 
successfully by recognizing that they are merely corruptions of 
a Sanskrit original, and everything supports the conclusion that 
we have here another case of an Arabic original rendered from a 
Pahlavi translation of a Sanskrit text. 

It is natural to extend the doctrine and to find the original of 
the Arabian Thousand and One Nights in India,' and something 
substantial has been done in this direction by proving that the 
prologue and setting of the tales are a contamination of motifs 
which are quite well known in India. Thus we have the Jain 
legend of Kanakamanjari, who retains for six months the un- 
divided love of the king by the device of beginning a tale each 
night but not finishing it Again, we have in a Chinese render- 
ing of a Buddhist tale (a.D. 251), in the Kathasaritsdgara, and 
in Hemacandra, variations of the theme of the man who is utterly 
depressed by finding out that his wife is unfaithful, but recovers 
happiness because he discovers that the king himself is equally 
being made a mock of. The further adventure of Shahriar and 
Shahzeman has a parallel in the K athdsaritsdgara. There are 
other traces of Indian influence in the tales, and it is clear that 
it is impossible to ascribe them to borrowing from Persia ; trans- 
lations from Persian into Sanskrit arc normally late, as in 
(Jrivara’s Kathdkautuka*^ written on the theme of Yusuf and 
Zuleikha under Zainu-l-*AbidIn in the fifteenth century. The 
only matter that can be in doubt is the extent of the influence ; 
certainly there is nothing in this case to prove the taking over of 
a whole cycle of stories from an Indian work, now lost. 

In Europe, apart from the translations enumerated, traces of 
real Indian origin are hard to prove.^ A Carolingian poem of the 

' Cosquin, ciV., pp. 265 flf. ; Przyluski, JA. ccv. loi ff., who finds in the 
Svayamvara of India a relic of the Austroasiatic festival dance at which young people 
were mated. Cf. Macdonald, JRAS. 1924, pp* 353 ff. 

* Ed. and trans. R. Schmidt (Kiel, 1898). 

* GUntcr, Buddha^ pp. 99 ff. The famoui tale of the poison maiden in Indian 
literature and in the west— told of Aristotle and Alexander in the Secretum Sccrctorum 
(cf. Hawthorne, RappaccM s DaughUr\ is discussed by Penzer, Ocean of Story ^ ii. 31 1 ff. 


ninth century tells how a hunter slew a boar, was himself killed 
by and caused the death of a snake, which is a feeble tale in com- 
parison with the Indian story of the greedy jackal who was lucky 
enough to find a hunter who had killed a deer, and had also 
slain a boar which killed him, but meets death through eating 
first out of the spirit of thrift the bowstring. Peter Alfonsi 
(twelfth century) knows a tale which occurred in Barz5e’s intro- 
duction to his version of the P ancatantra and some other Indian 
narratives, but merely as handed down in Arabic. Walter Mapes* 
knowledge is doubtful, but Marie of France has clear parallels, 
and the bird of St. Martin recounted by Odo of Sheriton {c. 
which held up its limbs to keep up the sky but appealed in terror 
to the saint when a leaf fell on it, can be traced to the Mahdbhd- 
rata and the Pahcatantra. Nigel of Canterbury's knowledge 
{c. I t8o) of the tale of the ingratitude of man as contrasted with 
that of ahimals is not necessarily borrowed, nor is the motif of 
the fatal letter and its bearer in Saxo Grammaticus probably 
Indian, seeing that we have already the conception dn Homer. 
James of Vitry, bishop of Ptolemais, a Crusader, in his Exempla 
tells from hearsay the stories of the Brahmin who was cheated 
by rogues, of the Brahmin who built castles in the air, and of 
the son who was going to bury his too long-lived grandfather, 
while his own son prepared a grave for him. In the de diversis 
rebus praedicabilibus of the Dominican Etienne of Bourbon, who 
died c. ia6o, we find a version of the story of the blind and the 
lame, well known in Jain texts,^ and a variant of the judgement 
of Solomon ^ in which two women dispute over a ball of wool and 
the issue is decided by asking what was the kernel used on which 
to wind the material ^ ; the Indian tale, found in a Chinese versioni 
in Buddhaghosa, and the (fvkasaptati^ of his stepfather’s device 
of ridding himself of the Bodhisattva appears in Etienne as the 
tale of the page whose prince, suspecting him of an intrigue, 
sends him to the workers at his oven who have instructions to 

* Hcrtcl, Geht des Ostensy i. 248 ff. 

* Cf. Htrtel, ioc, cit,y 189 ff. on the issue of the ultimate original of the Indian ver- 
sions of 1 Kings, iii. 16 ; Jataka, 546. 

* Zachariae, A 7 . SchrifUtty pp. 84 ff. 

^ Cf. the legend of St. hlizabeth of Portugal, Cosquin, Etudes folkloriqtuSy pp. 
73 ff., who (p. 160) insists on the exchange of persons or messages as distinguishing 
these tales from such cases as Bellerophon. 


fling into it the first who comes with a royal message. Etienne 
also tells us of the innocent hound, transmuted into St. Guinefort 
and an object of worship, whose tomb he insisted on destroying. 
The Gesta Romanorum contains various stories which may be 
of Indian origin ; one in a manuscript of 1469 ^ is so elaborate as 
to leave no doubt of its origin, for it tells of how a knight who 
was taught in gratitude the language of the beasts managed to 
escape revealing it to his wife, a famous Jataka tale. On the 
other hand it is impossible to ignore independent development ; 
if Heinrich Seuse (c. 1330) illustrates the idea of eternity by 
telling of a bird which once in 100,000 years picks up a grain of 
corn from a millstone of the size of the earth (the period until 
the stone shall be made bare is but a moment in comparison with 
♦eternity), it is far-fetched to claim derivation from the Indian con- 
ception of a world age as longer than the period taken by a man 
who once in a hundred years rubs a mountain with a silk cloth 
to level it with the ground. 

From the late middle ages comes evidence of the borrowing of 
several stories of cleverness, as in the story of the man who finds 
out guilty servants by more or less accidental observations made 
at table.^ The seven-league boots of fairy tale are found in the 
Kathdsariisdgara and may be Indian, but many other motifs 
hardly to be assigned to one nation ; thus we have the hero who 
is vulnerable in one spot only much earlier in Greece than in 
India and independently probably in Germany ; the tree which 
yields what it is asked for depends on the widespread belief in 
tree spirits ; the man or animal which yields gold attests, though 
early in India, to community of ideas rather than borrowing ; the 
burning of a skin which frees the enchanted prince seems ethnic. 
Various peoples know of flying birds which carry heroes on long 
journeys. Circe in the Odyssey need not be the source of the 
Yaksini of the tale of Ni9cayadatta in the Kathdsaritsdgara^^ 

Of interesting motifs due to India Cosquin ^ offers a good 
example in the Mahosadha Jataka tale of how a faithful wife 
served gallants who sought to seduce her in her husband^s 

* Giinter, Buddha^ pp. 1 2 2 ff. 

* Cf. Forke, Die indischen Mdrchetty pp. 36 f. ; Zachariae, op, cit,y pp. 138 ff. 

* See Tawney’s trans., i. 337 ff.; cf. the Sirenes of Od,^ xii. 39 ff. and Jatakas 41, 
96, 196, 439 ; Mahdvahsa (Geiger, p. 25). 

* I^tudes foikloriquesy pp. 457ff. 


absence, ending up with conveying them in jars before the king, 
an episode which is proved ancient by a relief at Bharhut on which 
is depicted the opening of three coffers in each of which is a 
prisoner. The story is preserved in perhaps a more original 
fashion in the Kashmirian Brhatkathd legend of Upako9a, who 
induces the gallants to take a bath and has them blackened by 
a sticky preparation, in which condition they are revealed to the 
king. It seems difficult to doubt that this is the source of the 
inferior version in the fable of Constant du Hamel and Isabeau 
in the thirteenth century, A variant of the same idea appears in 
the story of Devasmita in the Kashmirian Brhatkathd^ and it is 
probable enough that we must seek an Indian original for the 
form of the legend as it appears in the Gesta Romanorum (c. 
1300), in the romance of Perceforest, and in the fifteenth-century 
English poem. The Wright's Chaste Wife. It is tempting no 
doubt to find ^ in the common idea of the ogre and the fascinat- 
ing daughter who helped the lover to deceive her father, who 
despite his wickedness is stupid, the result of the Indian idea pre- 
served in the Kashmirian Brhatkathd of the youth who is aided 
by the daughter of a Raksasa whose stupidness she asserts is due 
to his origin, to win her hand by accomplishing all the impossible 
feats set to him. But proof is wanting. Another tale,^ which 
has a fair chance of being Indian in origin, is the type of the boil- 
ing cauldron and the pretended lack of skill as in the case of 
Vikramaditya, who is saved by the warning given by a skull 
from the ruse of a Yogin who bids him turn round a cauldron into 
which he means to fling him ; the king asks to be shown how to 
act and slays the miscreant by his own device. The tale ** of the 
cat who held a candle for the king but at last lets it go at the 
sight of a third mouse, though he has permitted two to pass un- 
noticed, may be of Indian origin, but that is clearly not proved ; 
it is, however, probable that the idea of the vigil of Solomon and 
Marcolphus, well known in the fourteenth century, is due to India, 
where the tale of Rohaka ^ and the king of Ujjain is known in 
the twelfth century and that of Pradyota and a Gandharan is 

‘ Cosquin, op. cU., p. 35. * Qp^ cit,, pp. 349 ff. 

* Op, dt.f pp, 401 ff. 

* On him cf, Zachariae, op, cit.^ pp. 66, 94 f., 190 ; Pull6, Uno progenitore Indiano 
dil Bertoldo (1888). 


found in the Kanjur, in the ninth century. Nor is the idea of the 
magician and his apprentice ^ who assumes all sorts of forms to 
emerge from different impasses unique ; the legend of Mestra in 
Ovid * shows that tales of this sort could easily arise in indepen- 
dence of India, where indeed the motif h not specially important. 

5 . The Romance in Greece and India 

It is natural that efforts should have been made to prove the 
derivation from Greece of the Indian romance, as it appears 
seemingly full-fledged in the works of Subandhu, Bana, and even 
in some degree Dandin. Peterson’s^ argument for Greek in- 
fluence, strictly limited in scope, was based in part on the 
^indubitable fact of Greek influence on astronomy and astrology, 
and in part on the new spirit which he discerned in the romances, 
which clothed with flesh and blood the dry bones of the simple 
tale with its rapid but monotonous stream of adventures. He 
quoted, however, in support of his view merely passages illus- 
trating the affection of Achilles Tatius in his tale of Kleitophon 
and Leukippe for minute descriptions of the beauty of the beloved, 
the effect of love upon man, and the love which other things have 
for each other, citing the story of the affection of the male palm 
for the female palm, which is given fruition by the grafting of 
a shoot into the heart of the male. To this Reich* has added 
merely a list of similarities ; thus we find both in Indian and in 
Greek romance the conception of love at first sight, of lovers 
revealed to each other in a dream, the swift change of fortune 
from good to evil and then back to prosperity, adventure and ship- 
wreck at sea, heroes as well as heroines of wonderful beauty, free 
use of detailed description both of love and of nature. All these 
things may be admitted, but clearly they do not prove borrow- 
ing, though they render it possible. The tale of the loves of the 
palms, it is clear, suggests Syria rather than either Greece or 
India ; it is decidedly different from the Indian wedlock of the 
mango and the jasmine recorded in the Kavyas. 

* Coscjuin, op. cit.^ pp. 497 ff. For other suggestions sec Les conies indiens it 
P Occident (1933), where inter alia he deals with the slipper motif xa India. 

* Met.^ viii. 847 ff. 

* Kadamhari^ pp. 98 ff. 

« DLZ. 1915, pp. 553ff., 594 ff. 


More definite evidence is adduced by Rohde S and by Weber* 
who holds that we find the motif of the Vdsavadattd—^\i\(^, it 
must be remembered, has no known antecedent in India — in a 
tale recounted by Athenaios on the authority of Chares of 
Mytilene, an official of Alexander the Great. This tale of Zari- 
adres and Odatis contains the motifs of lovers who see each other 
in a dream, and are finally united through the intervention of the 
maiden's marriage ceremonial in which she enjoys the right of 
choice. But even if we compare the awakening of Vasavadatta 
at her lover's embrace to the story of Pygmalion and Galatea, 
and find parallels in the Greek romance for armies which war for 
the possession of a maiden, we have the fact that the tale 
admittedly in the Greek version is not Greek, and in point of fact 
in Firdausi we learn that the daughter of the emperor of Rome 
sees her lover Gushtasp in a dream and herself claims him as hus- 
band. The choice of a husband in this way by a princess is an early 
Indian practice, and the Persian tale may easily have come from 
India in the first place, 

A different aspect was given to the hypothesis by F. Lac6te,“ 
when he claimed that Gunadhyahimself was under Greek influence, 
thus departing from Peterson's contrast between the predecessors 
of the romances and these works. But his opinion later ^ changed, 
and he adduced evidence in favour of the borrowing of the Greek 
romance from India. Of his evidence, part may be at once dis- 
missed as being irrelevant to the question of origin, as it concerns 
merely incidents and might therefore be borrowed without the 
romance as a whole being adopted by Greece from India. In any 
case, however, these details seem inadequate to prove their case ; 
the plant which cures wounds in three days has been compared to 
the vranasamrohanl plant of India, but it belongs to the most 
primitive period of Greek as well as Indian medicine. The unwink- 
ing eyes and feet that touch not the ground which mark out the 
gods from men is Indian, but the latter detail at least is recognized 
by the artists of the Roman Empire, and Kalasiris shows that 
the Iliad ® was believed to be the authority for both the assertions. 

‘ Griech, Roman^y pp. 47(1. * IS. xviii. 456 ff. 

* Essai sur Gundcfhyay pp. 284-6, 

* Milanges Lhiy pp. 272 ff. Sec Keith, JRAS. 1915, pp. 784 ff. 

® N. 71 f. ; A. 200, which prove that in gait(cf. Vergil : et vera incessu patuit dea) 
and eyes gods revealed their divinity. 


When Theagcnes and Chariklea see each other for the first time, 
they seem to recognize each other as if they had known each 
other before ; this is not merely a common feeling among modem 
people, but Plato had a doctrine of recollection which was far 
more likely to be present to a Greek author than an Indian 
romance motif. In the general purpose of the romances there is 
absolutely nothing un-Greek. On the contrary, the Aithiopika 
justifies the trials of its hero by the doctrine that he and his 
beloved had to be brought almost to death in order that the 
Aithiopians might cease to practice human sacrifice. The fate 
that elsewhere governs the progress of events is essentially Greek, 
more Greek than Indian, and it is most significant that nothing is 
said of the misfortunes which fall on the heroes being due to evil 
deeds done in past lives. Moreover, it is striking that in all the 
complex adventures recounted in the Greek romances we do not 
have Indian scenes or episodes, though there was abundant room 
for them, and the authors of the romances were largely them- 
selves Orientals, not natives of Greece proper. 

There remains, therefore, the argument from form. Lac6te 
contends that the Katha form was original in India, that there 
alone did it develop, and that it was borrowed by the Greek 
romances from India. Every part of the proof is defective. The 
Katha manner in its simpler forms is the most natural ^ of all, 
and Lac6te admits that we have it in the Odyssey^ but he holds 
that it was not developed in Greece. Of this there is no proof 
whatever ; the dialogues of Plato, which are reported conversa- 
tions, he admits to be exceptions to his rule, but holds that the 
manner was confined to philosophy, which boi rowed it from the 
Mimes of Sophron. This is a very implausible assumption, and 
is further contradicted by the evidence. We know of the love of 
Greece for tales, the story-tellers of Sybaris and Ephesos were 
famous, there is the evidence of Apuleius, who refers to his Meta- 
morphoses in the words ut ego Ubi sermone isto Mtlesto vartas 
fabulas coHseram? It is a perfectly fair deduction to make from 
this definite statement that the Ephesian tales known to Apuleius 
— including doubtless Aristeides Ephesiaka which were rendered 

' It is found early in Eg)’pt, and the emboxing of stories there is very early; 
Maspero, ConUs pcpulairts de VJ^gypte finciennt (1906), pp. 23 ff. 

* Teuffel-Schwabe, Rom. Lit., § 3^7 ; Lucas, Philolosns, 1907, pp. 29 ff. 


improbable adventure after another, fine writing is practically 
discarded, description and appreciation of nature are essential!}^ 
neglected. To the latter assertion there is of course admitted 
an exception in the case of the Poimenika of Longus, but that 
author derives directly from Theokritos, Bion, and Moschos, 
while the Sanskrit romance owes its love for nature to Indian 
feeling. The Da^akumaracarita with its affinities to the picar- 
esque romance is without real parallel in the Greek romances, 
though it has affinities to the Satirae of Petronius. 

An interesting parallel is drawn by Gray between the manner 
of Lyly in his Ettphues and that of Subandhu. They agree in 
laying all stress on form rather than subject-matter, though Lyly 
has a didactic end foreign to Subandhu. Lyly employs the 
device familiar in India of emboxing a story within a story, as 
in the case of the tale of Callimachus, which itself includes the 
stoiy of the hermit Cassander. Moreover, his paronomasias, his 
alliterations, his antitheses, and his learned allusions are in close 
harmony with the Indian practice. The instance is valuable as 
a reminder that parallels may arise without borrowing on either 

6. The Hexameter and Indian Metre 

An interesting suggestion has been made by Jacobi * that the 
Doha metre of Apabhran^a, with which may be compared the 
Dodhaka metre of Classical Sanskrit poetry, in so far as both are ^ 
essentially originally dactylic in structure, is to be traced back to 
the Greek hexameter, the Doha being the result of combining 
two hexameters into a stanza and then dividing it in the usual 
Indian manner into four lines. The Abhiras, he contends, were 
situated in Gandhara and the neighbourhood during the period 
of the influence of the Greco-Bactrian kings, and they must have 
eventually felt the need for a rendering into an Indian speech 
of the Homeric poems which, as Dio^ tells us, the Greeks loved 
so dearly, and clung to even when they had lost much else of 
Hellenic character. The version of Homer thus made for the 
educated classes would probably be in the metre of the original, 

* Festschnft IVackeniagelf pp. 127(1. 

^ Or. liii. 6. On the amount of Greek known in India cf. Kennedy, JRAS. 1912, 
pp. 1012 ff; 1913, pp. 122 ff.; 1917, pp. 228 ff.; Thomas, 1913, pp. 1014 f. 


and thus the Doha would grow up as the peculiar metre of the 
^bhlras and would cling to Apabhrah^a poetry. A parallel 
may be seen in the great influence exerted on Bengal prose 
literature by the missionaries of Serampore. 

Jacobi's theory rests naturally on the validity of the assertion 
of Dio that the Indians had a translation of Homer, which is 
repeated by Aelian, who asserts the same of the Persian kings, 
and who may have used the same source as Dio, although it is 
possible that he merely copies the latter. The general view ' 
that Dio’s reference is really to the Mahdbhdrata as the Indian 
equivalent of Homer is possible, but there is no doubt that it is 
not proved. Jacobi strengthens his case by pointing out that 
from the later sculpture of India we should never be able to 
demonstrate Hellenistic influence, were it not for the Gandharan 
art, which being permanent has survived to testify to the strength 
of Greek art, and it might be added that the proof of the influence 
of Greek painting has probably been lost through the disappear- 
ance of the frescoes which once existed in abundance in Gan- 
dhara.^ But, granting that the tale of Dio may have foundation, 
it must be admitted that it does not seem possible to accept as 
even probable the origin suggested for the Doha ; the dactylic 
form is easy to explain independently. It must, however, be said 
that the effort of Leumann^ to reconstruct an Indo-European 
metre with a quantitative basis, of which the Doha would be 
a descendant, is clearly a mere tour de force^ resting on utterly 
inconclusive evidence. 

> Weber, IS. ii. 161 flf. 

* Cf. Foucher, V Art Gyico-Bouddhique du Gatidhdra, ii. 402 f. 

* Festschrift Wackernagel^ 2>j>. 78 ff. .iiul elsewhere. His work is vitiated by a com- 
plete failure to weigh evidence and inability to meet criticism. By his methods any- 
thing could be proved. Meillet and Weller (Zll. i. 115 ff.), whom he attacks, arc far 

Bb 2 



I. The Beginnings of Theory on Poetry 

I T IS very possible to exaggerate the effect of theories of 
poetics' on Indian poetry and to ignore the fact that in India 
as elsewhere the poets set the models on which theory wa.% 
built, and that it was only gradually that the effect of the text- 
books on poetics came to be of ever-increasing importance. It 
is little short of absurd to imagine Kalidasa as laboriously striving 
to conform to rules which in his time were, to the best of our 
knowledge, only in process of formulation, and which in any case 
were, as we can see from our extant sources, always being laid 
down with distinct divergences of emphasis and detail. Of the 
age of the study of poetics we can say little, but the. fact that 
Panini does not mention Alamkarasutras, while he does recog- 
nize Natasutras, certainly suggests that dramaturgy came before 
a general survey of poetics, even if we do not believe that Panini 
knew a fully developed drama. With this accords the fact that, 
beyond vague references to Ka^yapa and a Vararuci, and Yaska’s 
knowledge of discussions of similes, Upamas,^ we have no certain^ 
information on poetics until it occurs as a subordinate element in 
chapter xvi of the Bharatiya Natyafastra^ which is essentially 
a treatise of dramaturgy and which may be placed conjecturally 
somewhat earlier than Bhasa and Kalidasa, though there is no 
strict proof of date. The great merit of this treatise, a compila- 
tion unquestionably from previous works, is that it develops the 
doctrine of sentiment, Rasa, with its eight subdivisions as erotic, 
comic, pathetic, and those of horror, heroism, fear, disgust, and 
wonder. Sentiment is a condition in the mind of the spectator 
of a drama, or, we may add, the hearer or reader of a poem, 

* See S. K. De, Sanskrii Poefics (1923-5); P. V. Kane, SdhityadarpatM (1923); 
Hari Chand, Kalidasa et Part poitique de VInde (1917) ; V. V. Sovani, Bhandarl ' 
Comm, Vol.y pp. 387 flf. ; Trivedl, pp. 401 ff. 

* Ninikta, iii. 13 ; cf. Panini, ii. i. 55 f., 3. 72. 


produced by the emotions of the characters, and the emotions, 
^havas, are excited by factors which may either be the object 
of the emotion, as the loved one is in the case of love, or serve to 
heighten it, as does the spring season. The emotions manifest 
themselves in effects of various kinds, and they are essentially 
distinct in psychological character among themselves, while the 
sentiments, though subdivided according to the emotions which 
excite them, are nevertheless essentially one in feeling, and this 
feeling, which later authorities seek more clearly to define, is 
a special purely aesthetic emotion comparable to the bliss obtained 
in contemplation of the absolute by the intellect which can com- 
prehend it.^ 

This, however, is not the side of the Natyagdstra which was 
fated to elicit the chief attention of writers on poetics as opposed 
to dramaturgy. Poetics developed, if it did not originate, in 
distinction from dramaturgy, and writers on it were long content 
to refer merely to that science. The topics which were to 
writers on poetics, however, appear in elementary, though 
not undeveloped, form in the N dtya^dstra* It recognizes four 
figures of speech, the simile, Upama, the metaphor, Rupaka, the 
Dipaka, in essence the use of one predicate to many subjects or 
one* subject to many predicates, and the Yamaka, repetition of 
syllables or alliteration. There is no distinction of figures as 
those of sound, ^abdalarhkara, and of sense, Arthalamkara, and 
it is significant of early poetry that there are given ten kinds 
of Yamakas, but only five of Upamas. The Yamakas remain 
prominent in the older school of poetics, including Bhatti, Dandin, 
Vamana, Rudrata, and the Agni Pur ana section on poetics, but 
Bhamaha already admits but five kinds and Anandavardhana 
and Mammata make it clear that the figure has no real aesthetic 
importance, though in later as well as older poetry, for instance, 
the Ghatakarpara^ it is freely used, serving in lieu of rhyme. 
Further, serving like the figures to bring out the sentiment, arc 
given the ten qualities and the ten defects ; it is characteristic of 
the beginnings of the science that the defects are given positively 
and the qualities given as the negation of the defects, while in 
fact it is impossible thus to connect the two lists. Moreover, 
the details of the lists are obscure, and differently interpreted 

^ Sec Keith, Sanskrit Z’ra/Tra (1934), pp. 3141!. 



both by the later writers on poetics and by the commentators on 
the ^^tra. On one view * the defects are : absence of a com^ 
plete meaning ; incongruity with the context ; tautology ; ambi- 
guity ; violation of syntactical regularity ; grammatical errors ; 
break of metrical rules as to pause; misuse of long or short 
syllables in metre ; breach of euphonic rules ; and inconsistency 
as to place, time, artistic usage, popular belief, logic, or science. 
The qualities are : Qlesa, possibly in the sense of suggested sense ; 
Prasada, clearness ; Samata, evenness implying ease of compre- 
hension ; Samadhi, superimposition of something special in the 
sense; Madhurya, sweetness ; Ojas, strength arising from the use 
of compounds with respect to suitable concatenations of letters ; 
Saukumarya, smoothness arising from happy metres and con- 
junctions ; Arthavyakti, explicitness of sense ; Udara, elevation 
of subject and sentiment ; and Kanti, loveliness, delighting the 

Of developments after the (pastra we know nothing definite, and 
we can only guess at the stages by which new figures were found 
out. If we can take Bhamaha’s account as helping us^ histori- 
cally — which is a pure assumption not suggested in any way by 
that author — we may hold * that the first step was to distinguish 
Anuprasa, alliteration, from Yamaka, the former affecting only 
single letters, the latter involving the repetition of syllables. 
But it is much more dubious if the fact that Bhamaha mentions 
after this set of five a set of six has any chronological conclusion, 
and the figures themselves are rather more complex than can be 
supposed to have been early. They are : Aksepa, paraleipsis, 
the denial of one thing to imply another; Arthantaranyasa, 
corroboration, the adduction of some instance or principle to 
prove an assertion ; Vyatireka, contrast by dissimilitude ; Vibha- 
vana, abnormal causation, when something comes about by 
some unusual reason ; Samasokti, brevity, suggestion by meta- 
phorical expressions ; and Ati9ayokti, hyperbole. Possibly to 
this period has been referred the figure Vartta, which, however, 
was not generally accepted, though Dandin perhaps,^ treats it as 
a sort of Hetu, cause. Our trust in the whole theory is seriously 
undermined when we find that to a third period of development 

' Bhimaha, iv ; logical faults are given in v. For Bharata's list see xvi. 84 ff. 

* Jacobi, SBA. 1922, pp. 320 ff. * If Jacobi rightly refers ii. 244 to it. 

are assigned three new figures : Yathasathkh}ra, relative order ; 
Utpreksa, poetical fancy ; and Svabhavokti, description of the 
nature of a thing in its reality as appreciated by the poetic 
imagination ; and that the fourth period is made to recognize the 
large number of figures, twenty-four more, in Bhainaha. What is 
really clear is that the Bhattikavya^ Dandin, and Bhamaha all had 
before them a large number of figures which they treat in slightly 
different ways, Bhamaha for instance rejecting the forces of cause, 
Hetu, Suksma, and Le^a, accepted by Dandin. To assert even 
a common source for Dandin and Bhamaha as opposed to Bhatfi 
is beyond our means of proof, and to ascribe to Medhavin the 
invention of Utpreksa is quite invalid. 

2. The Early Schools of Poetics 

In Dandin we come, as usual in Indian scientific literature, to 
an authority who used freely many predecessors whose works 
are lost, and who, therefore, presents us with a fully developed 
and elaborate doctrine. Dandin was doubtless the author of 
the Dafakumaracarita and his relation to Bhamaha has been 
keenly discussed.* The difficulty of decision rests on the fact 
that both authors can be made out to be attacking each other s 
views, but that there is nothing whatever strictly to prove that 
they are not dealing with views expressed by some predecessor 
of the other, as we know for certain in the case of Bhamaha 
that he used* Medhavin, who must have expressed opinions 
similar to those assailed by Dandin. It is, however, on the 
whole, probable that Bhamaha knew Dandin, while Dandin 
did not use him, and with this agrees the generally less refined 
views of Dandin as in his enumeration of thirty-two kinds of 
simile, which Bhamaha reduces to four. Dandin s rejection of 
the difference between Katha and Akhyayika seems thoroughly 
sound, while Bhamaha’s defence seems specially directed against 
Dandin. It is striking also that Dandin never notices one of the 

• Cf. on Canto x Nobel, in Musion, xxxvii. 

> Kane, SahUyadarpana (1913). PP- xxvff.j M. T. Naraiimhlengar, JRAS. 1905, 
PP. 535 ff. ; P»thak, JBRAS. xxiii. 19 j lA. xli. 236 ft. wppo« Bhimaha’* poitenority 
againit Trivedi, lA. xlil. J58 flf. R. ; Narasimhachar, lA. xU. 90!!. ; xlii. J05 ; Nobel, 
ZDMG. Ixxiil. 190 ff. j Hari Chand, Kalidasa, pp. 70 ft ; Jacobi, loff- 

* ii. 40, 88; Medhaviradta, Nami on Rudrata,xi. *4. Cf. Kdvyamimdhsd, p. 11. 


37 ^ 

many verses adduced by Bhamaha to expound his views. The 
matter is not, indeed, of the highest importance, for it is not^ 
supposed in any case that Dandin lived long after Bhamaha, 
who certainly used the works of Uddyotakara (c» 650) and 
probably knew the Nydsa of Jinendrabuddhi (c. 700). On the 
whole, having regard to the facts regarding the Dagakumdra- 
caritay which suggests that it precedes Subandhu and Bana, we 
may place Dandin some generations before Bhamaha. 

To Dandin poetry appears under the metaphor of a body of 
words determined by the sense which it is desired to set out, and 
that body is ornamented, the term Alariikara here being used in 
the most general sense to cover anything which lends beauty to 
the poem as ornaments do to the human body. A poem may 
consist of verse, prose, or both, as in the drama and the Campu ; 
no Indian writer on poetics allows himself to be led astray into 
demanding verse form as a condition of poetry. This, of course, 
was a natural conclusion from the fact that law, medicine, 
astronomy and astrology, grammar, and philosophy had all been 
composed in verse, so that outer form was obviously no criterion 
between the literature of knowledge and that of power. Of 
verse forms Dandin enumerates the Sargabandha or Mahakavya, 
the characteristics of which we have already noted ; Muktaka, 
single verses ; Kulaka, groups of up to five verses ; Ko9a, uncon- 
nected verses by different authors ; Samghata, similar verses by 
one author. Of prose he mentions Katha, Akhyayika, and 
Campu, recognizing as current the difference between the first 
two, but rejecting it as quite artificial and not even in accord- 
ance with practice. The use of different languages is admitted, 
Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhrah^a, and mixtures of these being 
allowed, seen in the Mahakavya in Sanskrit, in poems in the 
Skandhaka metre in Prakrit, in the Asara in Apabhrah^a, and 
the Nataka, drama, in a mixed form.^ Dandin also recognizes 
the distinction between a poem to be heard and one to be seen, 
but refers to works on dramatic art for consideration of the latter. 

Of special interest is the new presentation of the doctrine of 
qualities. It is clear that before Dandin there had developed the 
doctrine of schools or paths, Marga, of poetry, and Bana refers 

' The sense of the terms is not given by Dandin, and is dubious ; the last may be 
poems in one metre. Osara is a vJ. 


to four of them, as wc have seen. Dandin declares for the exis- 
tence of two types, holding that subvarieties ar^ncalculable, and 
he sets them against each other as the Vaidarbha and Gauda.the 
former the southern, the latter the eastern, the distinguishing 
marks being the presence in the former of ten qualities which 
the other does not Usually accept. Dandin shows clearly that 
these distinctions are not his own, and his descriptions are here 
and there suggestive of doubt on his own part as to what is 
meant, a doubt increased by divergences of view among the 
commentators. One quality, indeed, is admitted to be liked even 
by the Gaudas, perspicuity of sense ; if the ocean is referred to 
as red, that requires the addition of the words ‘ through the blood 
of the serpents/ But the merit of clearness, Prasada, applicable 
to the use of words in a natural way, is not attractive to the 
Gaudas ; they like a phrase such as anatyarjundbjanmasadrk^- 
dhko balaksaguhy * the white- beamed (moon) has a spot similar 
to the not-very-white water-born (lotuses) \ where the rare 
expressions are excused in the Gauda view by their being etymo- 
logically derivable. Udaratva signifies the presence in a sentence 
of a distinguished quality, thus giving elevation of style, as in : 

art hind fh krpand drstis tvanmukhe patttd sakrt 
tadavasthd punar deva ndnyasya mukhatn Iksate, 

* Once the sad eye of suppliants hath fallen on thy face, o king, 
it taketh there its abode, and gazeth not at the face of any other. 
Another explanation given by Dandin himself makes elevation 
the result of the use of ornamental epithets such as lildfnbuja^ 
toy-lotus, kriddsaras^ play-lake, hemdhgaday gold bracelet. 
Kanti is the grace of beauty, which is in harmony with nature, as 
opposed to the exaggeration, Atyukti, of the Gauda style; the 
two are neatly contrasted : the Vaidarbha has : 

afiayor anavadydhgi stanayor jrmbhamdnayoh 
avakd(o na parydptas tava bdhulatdntarc . 

‘ O maiden with faultless limb.s, there is not space enough between 
thy creeper-like arms for the expansion of those swelling breasts.’ 
The Gauda exaggerates : 

alpam nirntitam dkdgatn andlocyatva vedhasd 
idam eva7hvidham bhdvi bhavatydh stanajrmbhanam. 


‘ Surely the creator hath made this world too narrow, foreseeing 
not so great an extension of thy breasts.’ Samadhi denotes 
metaphorical expression, and Dandin shows how words normally 
vulgar can be used if the sense be no longer literal, as in the case 
of vam^ vomit, ni^thiv^ and udgr^ spit out. 

These five qualities are clearly essentially connected with 
sense, a sixth, Madhurya, sweetness, is defined as possessing 
Rasa, which here denotes rather tastefulness than sentiment as 
taken by Biihler among others, and this is a quality of sense as 
well as of sound, for it applies to the extent of forbidding the use 
of expressions suggesting vulgar ideas, requiring that love should 
be alluded to in decently veiled phrases. It, however, also has 
to do with tasteful arrangement of sounds, and in this there is 
a divergence between the styles, for the Vaidarbha likes the 
combination of harmonious sounds, while the Gauda prefers the 
more obvious and blatant device of alliteration outright. The 
Vaidarbha also demands Sukumarata, gentleness, which means the 
use of syllables which are not rough sounding, while the Gaudas 
like harsh sounds when they serve to accord with the sentiment 
expressed. Thus we have for the Vaidarbha the pleasing if in 
sense negligible : 

mandalikrtya barhdni kanthair madhuragitibhih 

kaldpinah pranrtyanti kdle jimutamdlini. 

‘ Making circles of their tails the peacocks dance in the season 
of the clouds, uttering sweet cries.* Contrast the Gauda fiery 
utterance : 

nyak^ena ksapitah paksah ksatriydndm ksandd iti, 

‘ In a moment the host of the warriors was destroyed by Para- 
furama.* There is again a distinction as to Samata, evenness: 
the Vaidarbha style likes the letters to be soft, harsh, or well 
mixed, but the Gaudas do not object to unevenness, and the 
poetry aiming at brilliance or bombast of both sense and orna- 
ment (arthalafkkdradambara) is recognized as having won fame. 
The Vaidarbhas also like ^lista, stability,^ diction which is not 
loose, i.e. composed of easily pronounced syllables — while the 
Gaudas do not mind the latter defect, provided it be alliterative ; 

* In i. 43 Uils seems the best sense ; Liiders in NobeVs Indian Poetry^ p. 107, n. 1 a. 


thus to express the common idea of a jasmine wreath and its 
attendant bees the Vaidarbhas say: mdlatlddma lahghitam bhra- 
ntaraik^ the Gau<jas mdlatimdld loldlikalild. Finally both styles 
like force, Ojas, consisting^ of lengthy compounds, or rather of 
a large number of compounds, both in prose and poetry in the 
Gauda view, in prose only in that of Vaidarbhan usage, though 
the latter would evidently sanction it if it was set off by short 
words as in : 

kasya kdmdturam ceto vdrunl na karisyatil 

‘ Whose heart is not made lovesick by the sight of the western 
sky, whose garment, the evening sun, hangs on the slopes of the 
clouds that are her breasts ? * The poet recognizes that varieties of 
compounds are made by the mingling of syllables long and short. 

Dandin insists that to produce the effective poetry he has 
praised are necessary natural genius, which arises from impressions 
formed in earlier births, much study, and great application, and, 
recognizing that the first requisite may be unattainable, allows 
concent! ation on the second two. He then proceeds, in Book ii of 
the Kdvyddarfa, to define Alamkaras as those qualities which 
produce charm in poetry, some of which have been already men- 
tioned in dealing with the difference of styles, while those common 
to both styles are enumerated in ii and iii, the figures of sense 
coming first, than those of sound, treated from our point of view at 
absurd length. The early state of Dandin's views is shown in 
his failure to distinguish quality and figure, and in his making no 
effort to explain the poetic effect of figures save by mere 
generalities. Nor has he any scheme of division of figures, and 
in a manner somewhat startling we find that he ranks as a figure, 
the first of all, Svabhavokti, natural description as a thing 
appears to a poet. This figure — or rather ornament — is of a quite 
special kind, for it is classed as opposed to all the rest of the 
figures of sense, which are classed under Vakrokti, crooked, non- 
natural, figurative, speech. The meaning of the distinction must 
be that in the former case the poet, by his discernment, sees the 
essence of a thing — using that term in the widest sense, be it an 
individual thing, or a species, or a quality or action — and sets it 
out in plain speech : in the latter he describes not necessarily with 


special intuition, but with figurative language. He has already 
insisted, in his account of the qualities, on the supreme importance 
to the poet of the. use of metaphor. 

The actual list of figures ' is a curious mixture including much 
that we should not reckon figures of a distinct kind, as well as 
figures more naturally so styled. We have in his order the 
simile in thirty-two varieties, the metaphor, the Dipaka, Avrtti, 
repetition in the sense of the use, e.g.,of four different verbs with 
one meaning as a quasi contrast to the Dipaka, Aksepa, Arthan- 
taranyasa, Vyatireka, Vibhavana, Samasokti, hyperbole, poetic 
fancy, and then three figures rejected by Bhamaha, Hetu, 
Suksma, and Le^a. These express cause, convey a meaning by 
adroit hint or gesture, or conceal something which has almost 
come to light ; but Dandin gives us an alternative view of Lega, 
a rebuke or eulogy. Then come order ; Preyas, the expression of 
pleasure ; Rasavat, the expression of one or other of the senti- 
ments; Urjasvin, that of vigour; Paryayokta, the expression 
indirectly of something which cannot openly be avowed ; Sama- 
hita, mentioning some fact which has come to afford aid to one's 
end ; Udatta, description of something noble or elevated ; Apa- 
hnuti, seeming denial to affirm more strongly ; double 

meaning ; Vi9esokti, description of a special distinction ; Tulyayo- 
gita, putting like things together ; Virodha, seeming incongruity ; 
Aprastutastotra, indirect praise ; Vyajastuti, praise concealed 
as censure ; Nidar9ana, reference to a like result ; Sahokti, 
mention of two things as happening together ; Parivrtti, exchange 
of objects ; A9is, benediction ; Sarhkirna, mixing of figures ; 
and Bhavika. The latter is a quality applicable to the whole of 
a composition and expresses the purpose and mind of the poet ; 
it reveals itself in the making of all the different elements of the 
plot aid one another to their end, the avoidance of needless quali- 
fications, the description of things in their place, and the ex- 
position of even a difficult matter by due regard to orderly 
exposition. This quality, we can see, would, if Dandin had had 

* Cf. Kane, Sahityadarpana^ pp. 1 flf. Nobel {Beitr, z, alt, Gesch, d. Alamkara- 
fdstra (1911) ; ZDMG. Uvi. 383 ff.; Ixvii. 1 ff. ; Ixxiii. 189 ff.) deals with some of the 
figures, but not always satisfactorily ; his desire to place Bhamaha before Kalidisa 
leads him to deny the former's obvious reference to the Meghaduta {^Indian Poetry ^ 
p. 15), even though he realizes that Kalidisa was really the older. 


any idea of order, have been conjoined with Svabhavokti ; we 
may compare Aristotle’s ^ hipytia. It is important to note that 
Dandin expressly mentions the view of some authors which made 
a hyperbole implicit in every figure whatever, and he himself 
lays it down that in every form of Vakrokti the use of the ^lesa 
enhances the beauty, thus according approval to the practice of 
Subandhu and Bana and of himself in his less immoderate action 
in the Dapakumaracarita, 

Book iii of the Kavyadarga develops at great length the doc- 
trine of Yamakas, leading us to the stanza with one consonant, 
«, only; then follow riddles and finally the ten defects of poetry 
much as in the Ndtya^asira. But nothing of real value is here 

The doctrines of Dandin found an echo and completion in 
those of Vamana,^ who is doubtless to be placed at the end of 
the eighth century.^ We have in him the emergence, however, of 
a new idea, that of the soul of poetry as opposed merely to the 
body. As later than both Dandin and Bhamaha he has a more 
developed idea of the nature of Kavya ; it is not merely words 
and meaning or sense, but there must be qualities and figures as 
well. But he also seeks to fit all the elements in Dandin into 
a scheme, based on the doctrine of Riti, a new word for style. 
The soul of poetry is style which is a specified arrangement of 
words, the term specified referring to distinction according to the 
qualities possessed which are the cause of charm in poetry, while 
the figures are ranged as things which add to the charm. He 
admits three kinds of Riti, Vaidarbhi, Gaudi, Pancali, so styled 
because found among the local poets, but not due to local causes. 
The Vaidarbhi is perfect and has all the qualities. The Gau<jl 
is accorded the qualities of Kanti and Ojas, understood here in 
the sense of many compounds which are of great length, and 
high-sounding words, a statement illustrated by a famous stanza 
of Bhavabhuti. The Pancali has sweetness and gentleness, 
Madhurya and Saukumarya, like the style of Puranas. The 
Vaidarbhi is strongly insisted on, the other tw^o disparaged, and 

' Khet, iii. 10, 16. On metaphor, cf. c. 2. 

» Kavydlamkara with ed. KM. 15, 1895; Vanivilasa Press, 1909; trans. 

(;. Jha, IT. iii and iv. 

» Minister of Jayapida of Kashmir (779-813) ; Jacobi, ZOMG. Ixiv. 138!. 



a pure form of Vaidarbhl is expressly commended which uses no 
compounds, thus allowing full play to the qualities of sense. 
The qualities in Vamana are now rearranged as qualities of sound 
and of sense, each having two aspects, with results far from 
satisfactory as regards clearness, and disadvantageous as depart- 
ing from the normal use of the terms established in Dandin. 
Under the quality beauty Vamana includes the feature of imply- 
ing sentiment, which Dandin places in the figures Preyas, Rasavat, 
and Orjasvin, and perhaps in the quality Madhurya, while the 
quality of perspicuity covers the Svabhavokti of Dandin. Under 
the qualities also room is found for the odd figure Bhavika, 
whose awkward position in Dandin*s view has been noted. 

Vamana s treatment of figures is important for his reduction 
of their importance as elements in poetry ; the qualities are vital, 
the figures not : they are related rather to the body, word and 
meaning, of poetry than to the style which is the soul. Further, 
he insists that the simile lies at the bottom of all figures and to 
achieve this result has to omit various figures, in addition to 
those above mentioned, such as Udatta, Paryayokta, and Suksma, 
while others he defines differently. Vakrokti to him is a special 
mode of metaphorical expression, not the generic term for all 
figurative speech as in Dandin. 

As opposed to Dandin we find in Bhamaha's Kdvydlamkara ^ 
a decided preference for a system which insists on the figures as 
the essential feature of the poetry whose body is word and sense. 
Bhamaha definitely rejects outright the distinction of two styles, 
and the qualities which he does recognize are connected gener- 
ally with poetry, not with any special style. Moreover, he shows 
the reduction of qualities to three, which is characteristic of later 
thought, though he does not specifically deal with the matter as 
do the later writers, who reduce Dandin's ten to their categories. 
He mentions, however, as sweet, a poem which is agreeable to 
hear and has not too many compounds, and a clear poem is one 
which can be understood by even women and children ; strength 
he understands as usual as connected with long compounds, and 
he implies that this is incompatible with clearness as well as 
sweetness. He has, however, no clear marking line between 
qualities and figures ; he mentions clearness and sweetness in 

* ns App. vili to K. P. Trivedrsed. of Prataparajayafobhusana, BSS. J909. 


close proximity to his account of figures, and he describes Bhavi- 
katva as a figure or quality indifferently. He definitely insists 
on the distinction of figures into those of sound and sense, and 
he more or less vaguely is conscious of the doctrine which regards 
the essential feature of poetry to be figurative expression, Va- 
krokti. For the two-fold division of subject-matter of poetry 
favoured by Dandin, which recognizes traditional matter and inven- 
tion, he substitutes one admitting also foundation on the arts or 
sciences. His division of classes of poetry is five-fold, the Sarga- 
bandha, drama, Akhyayika, Katha, and detached verses, and he 
defends the distinction between Katha and Akhyayika on quite 
^ worthless grounds. But he insists that there is a common 
element in all poetry, Vakrokti, while he denies, accordingly, to 
Svabhavokti the right to be styled a figure at all. This figura- 
tive expression he identifies with hyperbole, which is explained 
as an expression surpassing ordinary usage, meaning no doubt 
a poetical conception as opposed to the prosaic everyday concep- 
tion of facts. Bhamaha examines the various figures from this 
point of view, and his work in this regard was carried on by 
Udbhata, the contemporary of Vamana, whose Alamkdrasam- 
graha ' deals with forty-one figures, including three varieties of 
alliteration. His Bhdmahavivarana is lost, and from Pratlharen- 
duraraja, pupil of Mukula, who wrote c. 950, and commented on 
Udbhata, we learn little of importance. Of no historical impor- 
tance is Bhamaha’s treatment of defects, in which he gives a new 
list of ten additional to the tradition alone (Book iv), while in Books 
V and vi he describes logical and grammatical errors in poetry. 

There are in Udbhata hints of new views which later had some 
effect. The ascription to him of the doctrine that sentiment is 
the soul of poetry is due to an error, a verse cited by Pratlharen- 
duraja being wrongly ascribed to him. But he did lay some 
stress on the element of sentiment in poetry and he added to the 
list of eight of the Ndtya^dsira a ninth, the calm. Further, while 
he ignored, like Bhamaha, the styles of Dandin, he introduced 
a new classification based entirely on sound effects, primarily 
alliteration, in the shape of the theory of three Vfttis, manners, 
classed as elegant {upandgarikd\ ordinary {grdmyd), and harsh 
iparu^d). In treating figures he adds Drstanta, exemplification, 
^ Ed. Jacobi, JRAS. 1897, pp. 829-53 ; BSS. 1925* 



and Kavyalinga, poetical causation, divides simile according to 
the grammatical form of expression, as by suffixes like vat, and 
starts the investigation of the relations of double meaning to 
other figures, which is later developed, as well as the complex 
issue of the different kinds of blending of figures, Samsrsti and 

Rudrata, who wrote before 900 and probably in the earlier 
part of the ninth century, the Kdvydlantkdra} in sixteen chapters 
of Arya verses, makes no innovation in theory, but belongs 
essentially to the school which, without scientific investigation, 
accepted as its duty the enumeration of figures. He seeks to 
divide figures on the base of sound and sense, and then to sub- 
divide on principles of his own ; under those of sound he classes 
figures on the basis of equivocation {vakrokti), paronomasia 
{flesa\ pictorial effects (citrd), alliteration and Yainakas ; those of 
sense are based on reality, similitude, hyperbole, and coalescence. 
This results in a repetition of some figures under different heads, 
and his plan of division received no general acceptance, though 
Mammata adopted some of his figures, and his new interpretation 
of Vakrokti as an equivoke based on paronomasia or intonation 
(kdku)^ though rejected by Hemacandra, prevails from Mam- 
mata onwards over the wider sense of Dandin or the narrower 
interpretation as a figure based on similitude of Vamana. He 
generalizes and extends the manners of Udbhata, in whom they 
seemed to be restricted to alliterative effects, by laying down 
five manners of letters {varnd), sweet, harsh, pompous, dainty 
{lalitd), and excellent (bhadrd). But he accepts also the styles, 
Ritis, of Vamana, though under the influence of Bhamaha we find 
them looked at in a new light. They now number four, and the 
distinction is based on the use of compounds. The Vaidarbhi 
has none, verbal prefixes not ranking as compounding elements. 
Pancali compounds up to three words, Latiya five to seven, and 
Gaudiya any number. His debt to Dandin is seen in his dealing 
at great length with Yamakas and developing the idea of Citra, 
tricks in poetic form, such as Magha declares to distinguish poetry 

' Ed., with the comm, of Namisadhn, a Jain (1068), KM. a, 1909. Rudrata 
is son of V 5 muka and is also called Qatananda. His difterence from Rudra Bhatfa 
was proved by Jacobi, WZKM. ii. 151 ff. ; ZDMG. xlii. 425. Rudra Bhatt^ is known 
to Hemacandra (p. no) ; his Qrhgaratilaka is ed. Pischei, Kiel, 1886. 


in his day, but which Bhamaha and Udbhafa ignore, while 
Udbhata also passes over Yamakas. A novel feature is the 
introduction in four chapters of the theory of sentiment which, 
however, is in no wise brought into vital connexion with his sub- 
ject, but stands in a merely formal collocatioa He recognizes 
ten sentiments, adding the feelings of calm and friendship to the 
traditional list 

Still less important from the point of view of theory is the 
Kdvyanttmdhsd of the dramatist Raja^ekhara {c, 900) which is 
a work in other regards of no small interest and originality. He 
conceives of the Kavyapurusa, the spirit of poetry, son of Saras- 
vati, and the Sahityavidya, science of poetics, who becomes his 
bride, the term Sahitya being derived, we may believe, from the 
old doctrine of the union of word or sound and sense to make 
a poem, as laid down by Bhamaha, .Magha, and others. He dis- 
tinguishes carefully science, Qastra, and poetry, and analyses the 
divisions of the former ; he discusses at length the relation of 
genius, poetic imagination, culture, and practice in making a poet 
and classifies poets on this score. A further classification is based 
on the fact that a poet may produce a (Jastra, or a poem, or 
combine both in varying proportions, and of poets in the 
narrower sense he makes eight illogical groups. His own con- 
ception of poetry appears traditional ; he defines it as a sentence 
possessing qualities and figures, and he accepts Vamana*s doc- 
trine of styles which are the outcome of Sahityavidya’s wander- 
ings in diverse lands. The sources of poetry are touched on, and 
the subject-matter as concerned with men, divine beings, or 
denizens of hell is investigated. Very interesting is the discus- 
sion of borrowing from earlier works ; it is recognized as justified 
by freshness of idea and expression, and elaborate illustration is 
given of thirty-two different ways of evading improper plagiarism. 
Important also is the consideration of poetical conventions, and 
we are given a geography of India and many remarks on the 
seasons with their appropriate winds, birds, flowers, and action. 
Rajafekhara also gives curious details of the likings of different 
parts of India for certain languages and their mode of mispro- 
nouncing Sanskrit. The Magadhas and others east of Benares 
are blunt in Prakrit, good at Sanskrit, but the Gaudas are 
thoroughly bad in Prakrit, the Latas dislike Sanskrit but use 



Prakrit beautifully, the Surastras and Travanas mix Apabhrah^a 
with Sanskrit, the Dravidas recite musically, Kashmirian pro- 
nunciation is as bad as their poetry is good, Karnatas end up 
sentences with a twang, northerners are nasal, the people of 
Pancala sweet and honey-like. Women poets are recognized, 
and sex barriers despised, while of the ten grades of poets the 
rank of Kaviraja, held by Raja^ekhara, comes seventh even 
above the Mahakavi himself. Great stress is laid on the assem- 
blies at which poets were judged and where the prize given by the 
king included crowning with a fillet and riding in a special chariot. 
The poet’s paraphernalia is given, chalk, a board, palm leaves, 
birch bark, pen and ink.^ More important is the insistence on 
the equal rights of all four forms of speech : Sanskrit ; Prakrit, 
elegant, sweet, and smooth ; Apabhran5a also elegant, as Ipved in 
Marwar, Takka, and Bhadanaka ; and Bhutabhasa current in 
Avanti, Pariyatra, and Da^apura, while the people of the 
Madhyade9a used all equally well. The people of that land 
show also their admixture by their colours, brown like the 
easterners, dark like the southerners, white like the westerners, 
while the northerners are fair. When we add that he quotes ex- 
tensively including the Mahimnahstotray gives many fine verses 
and some anecdotes, and is usually lively if pedantic, the merits 
of his work can be appreciated.^ 

3. The Doctrine of Dhvani 

Raja9ekhara lived at a time when a new doctrine, that of 
Dhvani, tone, had been steadily winning its way to power. It is 
represented for us by the metrical Karikas preserved in the 
Dhvanydlokd^ of Anandavardhana of Kashmir (r. 850) with its 

* On these matters sec Biihler, Indische PalaeographU ; Hoemlc, JASB. lix. pt. i. 
no. 2 ; on the nse of paper, Waddell, JR AS. 1914, pp. i36f. ; Haraprasad, Report, i, 
p. 7 ; on the claim of Indian writing as indigenous, not of Semitic origin, see Bhan- 
darkar, POCP. 1919, ii. 305 ff. 

* Ed. Gaekwa<P 5 Oriental Series, 1916. Many stanzas on poets by Raja9ekhara 
probably came from some lost work, perhaps the Haravildsa ; cf. Bhandarkar, Report, 
1887-91, pp. ixflf; Peterson, JBRAS. xvii. 57-71; for an exposure of forged verses 
adduced to support an attack on Bhasa’s authorship see G. Harihar Sastri, IHQ. i. 
370 ff. ; K. G. Sesha Aiyar, 361 ; a bad case invites worse arguments; cf. Keith, 
BSOS. iii. 623 fi. ; T. Ganapati Sastri, 627 ff. 

’ £d. KM. 25, 1911 ; trans. H. Jacobi, ZDMG. Ivi and Ivii. 


super-commentary by Abhinavag^pta, Locana} The Kirikis 
assert that the doctrine is old, but if so we must assume that it 
had not won much success, and it may be that the author referred 
really to some not distant predecessor, justifying himself by the 
view that the doctrine was implicit in the older writers. His 
name was possibly but not certainly Sahfdaya, which at best is 
merely an epithet, and he must have written early in the ninth 
century. At any rate by the ability of his commentators and by 
the adoption by Mammata of the doctrine the new view won on 
the whole a dominant position in Indian poetics. 

The theory finds its origin in the analysis of language and 
meaning. The phrase, a herdsmen’s station on the Ganges, is 
obviously as it stands absurd ; the denotation (abhidkd) gives 
no sense, and we are obliged to find a transferred sense {lak^anii) 
which gives us the sense of a station on the bank of the Ganges. 
This shows the incompatibility of the literal sense as one factor, 
and the possibility of giving an allied meaning as another. But 
this is not all ; there is brought to us by such a phrase deliberately 
used in poetry a sense of the holy calm of such a station situated 
on the sacred stream with all its associations of piety. This, it is 
contended, is not given by implication, but by the power of sug- 
gestion which is derived from the poet’s purpose (prayojatta) in 
applying the phrase. This doctrine of suggestion which the gram- 
marians did not accept could be based on a philosophical opinion 
of the grammarians themselves. They recognized the Sphota,* 
a mysterious entity, a sort of hypostatization of sound, of which 
action sounds were manifestations, and the same idea of the revela- 
tion of something inherent {vyahjana) is found in the VedSnta, 
where all is a manifestation of the underlying reality, the Brahman 
or absolute. There were common-sense people ® who held that 
all could be put down to denotation ; a word might be regarded 
like an arrow which could pierce armour and slay the foe in a single 
movement, without inventing new phases of operation, while yet 
others ^ claimed that the signification, Tatparya, resulting from 
the taking of words together in a sentence explained all that was 

' Ed. KM. as (i-iii) ; Dd, Calcutta, 1933 (!▼). 

• E. Abegg, FestschrifC Windisek^ pp. 188 ff.; ZDMG. Ixxvii. 3078*. 

• DIrghavyipiravadin school, dubiously ascribed to Lolla(a (Dd, Sanskrit Poetics, 
ii. 19a, n. 16). 

• AbhibitiuvayaTidin school of MlmShsi. 



required, and others ^ again held that even this idea of Tatparya 
was needless, because the words had the power per se of convey- , 
ing their relations with other words to make up a whole. A 
further school, which became more insistent later, declared that 
suggestion was not real, and that what was explained by sugges- 
tion ought to be accounted for by inference. From the mention of 
the station on the Ganges one at once inferred the intention of 
the speaker to convey the ideas of purity, &c. 

But the holders of the doctrine of Dhvani remained uncon- 
vinced, and on the basis of their theory they declared that the 
soul of poetry was not style nor sentiment, but tone, Dhvani, by 
which they meant that an implied sense was the essence of 
poetry. What was suggested might be threefold, either a sub- 
ject, or a figure, or a sentiment and, while these three possi- 
bilities are admitted by the more orthodox members of the 
school, including Anandavardhana and Mammata, Abhinava- 
gupta went much further and declared that in reality all sugges- 
tion must be of sentiment, holding that in the long run suggestion 
of subject and figure reduced themselves to this. Vifvanatha, 
author of the Sahityadarpana, followed his lead, but this never 
became the accepted doctrine, for the writers realized that, by 
attempting thus to limit suggestion, they would cut out a good 
deal of admitted poetry. Suggestion, however, can be expressed 
in two ways, for it may rest on the metaphorical sense of words, 
in which case we have the species of Dhvanikavya where the 
literal meaning is not intended at all {avivaksita-vacya\ thus 
making provision for the ordinary view which attached great im- 
portance to metaphor or simile as the base of poetry. Or, again, 
the literal sense may be intended, but a deeper suggestion implied, 
in which case we have the type where the literal sense is meant 
but ultimately comes to something deeper {yivaksitanyapara- 
vacyd). Here, again, we have two different cases, for the process 
of apprehension may be instantaneous {asaudaksya-krama)^ which 
is the rule in respect of suggestion of sentiment, or due to a per- 
ceptible process [saMaksya-krama\ as in the suggestion of sub- 
ject and figure. The process of apprehension of sentiment is 
comparable to the piercing of a hundred lotus leaves with one 
needle ; there is a process by which the factors induce the senti- 

* Anvitabbidhanavidin school. 


ment, but it is so rapid as to seem instantaneous. It is clear also 
that the rising up of sentiment is not the result of inference ; it 
can come into being only in a person who has had in previous 
lives experience which gives him aesthetic susceptibilities, makes 
him a feeling heart or connoisseur {sahrdaya)^ and in him it arises 
as a perfectly unique emotional experience, comparable only to 
the bliss of cognition of the absolute,' a transcendental {alaiikikd) 
joy. He who sees on the stage, or reads in poetry, the factors 
which are connected with sentiment presented, does not regard 
them as external to himself, whether as the property of the actor 
or of the hero of the play or poem, nor does he appropriate them 
to himself ; he sees them under the aspect of universality, and 
this causes the sentiment to be unique and pleasurable, whatever 
the corresponding emotion, as a personal possession, would be. 
What in real life would be horror, thus as a sentiment is exquisite 
joy. We have, it is clear, a real effect to explain the nature of 
disinterested aesthetic pleasure arising from literature. 

But the system does not deny the right to rank as poetry of 
poetry which contains only in a secondary degree suggestion 
(gunibhuta-vyahgya). This head helped them to find a place for 
the doctrines of the older writers who accepted in certain figures 
the expression of sentiment, as in the Preyas, Rasavat, and 
Orjasvin of Dandin. Moreover, it served to include cases in 
which these writers found that one figure lay at the base of others, 
as when Vamana found simile in all, and Bhamaha held that in 
all figures there lay hyperbole, a view mentioned by Dandin also. 
Finally the system, though not its sterner advocates, confessed 
that they must permit the kind of poetry called Citra, picture, in 
which there was mere beauty without any suggested sense at all. 
The beauty may be of sense or sound. 

It remained to seek some way of dealing with the qualities 
and figures and the styles or manners of the earlier writers, so as 
to find them a just place. One great simplification was effected 
by reducing the number of qualities, restricting their extension 
to sound effects, and by merging in them both the Ritis of 
Vamana and the Vrttis of Udbhata, which were at the same time 
practically identified. This became possible through the adop- 

^ This is, wc must remember, identic with the bliss which is part of the absolute at 
one, being, thought, and joy. 


tion of a new doctrine as to the relation of qualities to the poem ; 
the sentiment being regarded as the vital element, the qualities 
are related to it as the soul of the poem, in the same way as 
heroism is an attribute of the soul of man. This fact, however, 
precludes us from regarding qualities as stereotyped in the old 
fashion ; everything depends on the sentiment, and what rela- 
tively to sentiment would be a quality might in the abstract be 
a defect. If, then, we admit qualities, they must be such as are 
never defects, and they must be positive in nature, not mere lack 
of defects, and distinct in character. On this score we can dis- 
miss Vamana's Qlesa, Samadhi, and Udarata as merely forms of 
Ojas, strength ; Saukumarya and Kanti are no more than the 
absence of the faults of harshness and vulgarity ; and Samata, 
evenness, is in some cases positively a blemish. We have thus 
left just three qualities, and these of sound only, there being no 
need in the views of the school, which Mamma^a in special 
develops very clearly, to allow of qualities of sense. These are 
strength, which is regarded as causing, or as Vi9vanatha insists, 
coincident with an expansion {vistara) of the mind, and which 
has its proper place in the sentiments of heroism, horror, and dis- 
gust ; sweetness, which stands in a like relation to a melting (druti) 
of the mind, and is normally present in the sentiment of love-in- 
union, but appears also, rising in degree in order, in pathos, love- 
in-separation, and calm; and clearness, including the older 
Arthavyakti, which corresponds to an extension or pervasion 
(vikasa) of the mind. The idea of these psychological equations 
was probably borrowed from Bhatta Nayaka who in his theory 
of the enjoyment {bhogd) of sentiment spoke of these three condi- 
tions of the mind. In concrete terms the characteristics of the 
three qualities of sound are given by Mammata as depending on 
arrangement of letters, compounds, and style of composition ; 
thus sweetness depends on the use of all the mutes (save linguals) 
with the corresponding nasals ; r and n with short vowels ; and 
no compounds or short compounds ; strength arises from the use 
of double consonants, or consonants followed by the correspond- 
ing aspirate ; conjuncts of which r forms part ; lingual letters 
save n ; the palatal and lingual sibilants ; long compounds ; and 
a formidable, loaded, composition ; no special rules are given for 
clearness. It is obvious that Mammata is here incorporating 


much of what Udbhata taught regarding his Vrttis, the charac- 
teristics of the Upanagarika and Parusa forms being closely 
similar, and thus it is possible for Mammata to bring the Vrttis 
under qualities. Nor, as he includes the use of compounds in 
his treatment, does he find it difficult to include the styles 
of Vamana, as brought into close relation to compounds by 
Rudrat^. It is, of course, all rather artificial, and very much of an 
effort to harmonize without real care , for the facts, but it is 
normal and plausible enough. 

In the case of the figures a definite line is drawn between them 
and the qualities. The figures are only of importance in so far 
as they seek to enhance the sentiment ; they do not, however, act 
directly on the sentiment, but they aid it by decorating the body, 
sound and sense, just as the soul of a man has as attributes the 
qualities, while ornaments such as a necklace affect his body 
directly. If figures do not aid the sentiment, then they are 
merely forms of speech, and their place is in poetry of the third 
type, Citra, pictorial poetry which Vi9vanatha denies outright the 
name of poetry. 

Anandavardhana give much else of great interest, and his 
remarks on compounds are sensible and just; he allows them 
freely in Akhyayikas, but he points out that even there where 
pathetic, or love-sorrow effects are aimed at such compounds 
are not suitable, and in the Katha they should be employed in 
moderation. The doctrine of Dosas, defects, is treated from the 
same point of view as that of qualities ; tautology, for instance, 
may become an excellence if the suggested sense is made more 
effectively felt by means of it. But as with qualities, there may 
be real faults which are always such ; the Dhvanikara insists that 
in love there is always a defect in using unmelodious (grutidu^td) 
expressions, though such are in good taste in the heroic or the 
horrible sentiments. 

4. The Critics and Supporters of the Doctrine of Dhvani 

The idea of suggestion did not pass unchallenged. Bhatta 
Naydka in the Hrdayadarpana} perhaps an independent work 

^ Ci. M. Hiriyanna, POPC. 1919, ii. 246(1., who regards him as expressing the 
Samkhya view of aesthetic joy as arising beyond nature to something finer if not real, 
while the Vedwta view rests on the revelation of the absolutely real which is joy. 



though there is some evidence of it having been a commentary 
on the Natyafdstra^ who wrote before Abhinavagupta, insisted i 
on his own theory of the effect of words. In addition to denota- 
tion, he ascribed to them the faculty of generalization, Bhavakatva, 
which consists in making the meaning intelligible as universal to 
the audience, while a third power, Rhojakatva, results in the 
audience relishing the enjoyment of the poem. This condition is 
one of an enjoyment which cannot be described, but which is 
marked, as we have seen, by the melting, expansion, and extension 
of the mind. The loss of his work makes it very difficult to 
appreciate what Nayaka exactly intended to convey. 

More fortunate is Kuntala, probably a contemporary of 
Abhinavagupta, whose Vakrokiijivita ^ is an effort to present in 
a new and improved form the idea vaguely present to Bhamaha 
and those who laid stress on figures as the essential feature of 
poetry. He insists that Vakrokti, crooked or figurative speech, 
is the life of poetry, distinguishing it from science and any 
merely ordinary or natural mode of expressing facts of any sort. 

It is, therefore, a deviation from the ordinary language of life 
in order to produce a certain striking effect {vicchitti)^ or an 
imaginative turn of speech (bhahghbhaniti). Poetry, therefore, 
is to be defined as embellished sound and sense, the embellish- 
ment being figurative speech, and as this is the only Alarhkara 
possible, and as it is essential to poetry, it is absurd to have any 
definition which omits figures or makes them subordinate. He 
goes in great detail through all the forms of poetry in order 
to show that the principle of Vakrokti covers adequately all 
developments, citing copious examples from the poets, especially 
Kalidasa. It is to the imagination or skill of the poet, his work 
(kavikarman)^ that we owe the presence of Vakrokti in any 
poem, and this work can be classed according as he exhibits it in 
regard to the letters, to the base or termination of words, to 
a sentence, a particular topic, or a treatise as a whole. It is clear 
that we have here in part a reminiscence of the doctrine of an 
element of hyperbole in all poetry asserted by Bhamaha ; a poem 
attains at best a transcendental charm (lokottara vaicitrya), which 
can be judged in the long run only by the man of taste, a result 

^ £d. S. K. Dd, Calcutta, 1933.